New faces among aspirants for BJD tickets in RS seats

Young leaders, non-politicians, non-politicians, and non-politicians are all looking for BJD tickets for the four Rajya Sabha seats from Odisha . The party has 113 MLAs in its 146-member assembly .

Bhubaneswar: Young leaders close to the center of power, new entrants, and several non-politicians are all looking for BJD tickets for the four Rajya Sabha seats from Odisha, which will be held next month.According to sources, the non-politicians included an industrialist, a philanthropist, and a retired bureaucrat.On June 10, three seats will be vacant for BJD members N Bhaskar Rao, Prasanna Acharya, and Sasmit Patra.On June 13, the fourth seat that was left vacant after BJD member Subhash Chandra Singh stepped down as mayor of Cuttack Municipal Corporation, will be contested.

The party currently has 113 MLAs in its 146-member assembly (one of whom has passed away).Similarly, lobbying has been raging for the three seats that will be vacant, while the fourth seat vacated by Singh will be completed in 2026, according to BJD insiders.According to BJD insiders, the party has also started the process of zeroing in on candidates for all four seats, although the names will be announced in May last week.The names are being finalized based on the total numbers of different provinces and the results of the 2024 general and assembly elections.

Shashi Bhusan Behera, a senior BJD leader, said that his candidature will be decided by the chief minister at a suitable moment.Though the party is in favour of renominating Patra for a second term, tribal leader Pradeep Majhi, who recently switched to the ruling BJD by resigning the Congress, has also made headlines.Manas Mangaraj, Shreemayee Mishra, Lelin Mohanty, and Bijay Nayak are among the young leaders attracting attention.According to party insiders, an industrialist who has made large investments in Odisha is also campaigning for a BJD ticket.