BJD names spokesperson, ex-minister for RS, speaker's polls
Putting speculations to rest, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said party spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb will be the BJD candidate for the May 25 Rajya Sabha by-poll and Pradip Kumar Amat for the assembly Speaker's post.
Amat had resigned on May 6 as the state Finance Minister, along with nine others, and the Chief Minister had effected a major reshuffle in his cabinet the next day.
Deb is currently the Odisha State Housing Board Chairman. He was Technical Education and Training and IT Minister in the Naveen Patnaik government during its third term. He lost the 2014 assembly election from Aul constituency.
The ruling party is all set to win the lone Rajya Sabha seat as it enjoys a thumping majority in the assembly.
The Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant following the resignation of Bishnu Das, who was appointed the Deputy Chairman of the state Planning Board.
The Speaker's post fell vacant after Niranjan Pujari was inducted in the Cabinet on May 7.