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Bhubaneswar:  Ending days of speculation over the fourth Rajya Sabha seat BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik strategically announced name of renowned sculptor Padma Vibhushan Raghunath Mohapatra as an Independent candidate & His candidature


wRaghunath Mohapatraill be supported by the BJD. In the meanwhile All India Congress Committee (AICC) announced former MP & Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Ranjib Biswal for Rajya Sabha seat.

The BJD, which has 107 MLAs and support of one Independent, has the strength of winning three seats. The party has 18 surplus votes. The Congress has just 27 “Support of just three MLAs can help Congress to get the required first preference votes for victory of 4th candidate.

In the current Assembly, the BJD has 107 members, the Congress 27, the BJP six, the CPI one & six Independent members. BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is likely to announce other three names as party’s candidate for the elections to the Upper House on Monday. Filing of nominations would continue up to January 28. The scrutiny of the nomination papers would be held on January 29, while the date of withdrawal of nominations is on January 31.The voting would take place on February 7.