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BJD names Pratap Deb, Pradip Amat as party candidates for RS poll, Speaker

 Ending all speculations, the ruling Biju Janata Dal today announced the name of Pratap Keshari Deb as the party's candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Odisha, Pradip Kumar Amat as the Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly.
Announcing the names of Deb and Amat, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “Biju Janata Dal candidate for the Rajya Sabha will be Sri Pratap Keshari Deb, and the Speaker will be Sri Pradip Kumar Amat.” 
The lone Rajya Sabha seat from Odisha was lying vacant after Bishnu Charan Das resigned as the member of the Upper House on March 21 this year. Das' term of office would have ended on July 1, 2022.
Deb, presently BJD spokesman and chairman of the Odisha State Housing Board, had lost the assembly elections in 2014 from Aul segment. He will file nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections by May 15.
Taking BJD's strength of 117 MLAs in the House of 147 member into consideration, Deb is most likely to be elected to the Upper House of the Parliament as the BJD candidate.
With Patnaik announcing name of Deb as the BJD candidate for Rajya Sabha election, speculation over Gita Mehta (Naveen's sister) being sent to the Upper House came to an end. Though Patnaik had earlier clarified that his sister was not interested in any political position, the media was agog over Gita Mehta's name.
Meanwhile, the Speaker post of the Odisha Legislative Assembly was laying vacant since Niranjan Pujari resigned on May 5. Pujari has now become a minister during the ministry reshuffle held on May 8.
Amat, who resigned as the finance and health minister, was Speaker of the OLA from 2009 to 2014. The election for the Speaker post will be held on May 16.


Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.


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