Ashwini Vaishnaw, 2 BJD leaders elected to Rajya Sabha unopposed from Odisha

Vaishnaw was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha with the support of ruling BJD

Ashwini Vaishnaw Ashwini Vaishnaw

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and BJD's Debashish Samantray and Subhashish Khuntia were on Tuesday elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Odisha.

Returning Officer Rajesh Abanikanta Patnaik announced the names of the elected persons after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended this afternoon.

BJP candidate and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha with the ruling BJD support. Vaishnaw had filed his paper on the last day of the nomination filing process on February 15 while two BJD candidates had filed nominations on February 13.

Though the BJD had the required numbers in the Odisha assembly to win all the three Rajya Savha seats to fall vacant in April this year, the ruling party had preferred to field only two candidates leaving one berth for BJP's Vaishnaw.

The Naveen Patnaik-led BJD had announced its support to Vaishnaw "for the larger interest of the state's railways and telecom development". In 2019 also, Patnaik had supported Vaishnaw when he got elected to the Upper House of the Parliament for the first time.

In June 2019, the BJD had announced to extend support to Vaishnaw, a former Odisha cadre IAS officer, following a telephone call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Odisha Chief Minister Patnaik.

As the three candidates filed their papers for three seats to be vacant, there was no need for an election, the Returning Officer said. The tenure of three RS members - Vaishnaw, BJD's Prashant Nanda and Amar Patnaik will end in April this year. The election process was made to fill up the three vacancies.


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