Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, also the President of the ruling BJD, announced the names of his party candidates for the four Odisha Rajya Sabha seats set to go for poll on March 26. Thus came to an end, all the speculations on the names.
As corroboration for Naveen’s drive for women in political leadership, Mamata Mahanta is the woman nomination in the four picks of the Odisha CM. Munna Khan is from the minority community to find a place in Naveen’s preference for the upper house. Subhash Singh and Sujit Kumar are the two other names to be in the fray for the RS seats from BJD.
Of the ten seats of the Odisha quota in the Rajya Sabha, four are open for fray for the biennial election on the 26th of this month. The six-year tenures of Anubhav Mohanty, Narendra Swain, and Sarojini Hembram of BJD are ending on April 2. So, is of Ranjib Biswal of Congress.
With 113 seats in the Odisha legislative assembly, BJD can introduce three of its candidates to the Upper House comfortably, leaving the fourth one needing some push.
BJP has 23 seats in the assembly; it can vie for a seat. Having 10 seats in the house, Congress may play a crucial role in determining the result of the competition for the fourth seat.
Naveen’s selecting Munna Kahan, as political observers see, is an effort to pacify the minority community in the state who had expressed their discontent over Naveen’s going with the center on CAA and triple-talaq.
Munna Khan, an Odia Cine star, has been with BJD for quite some time. At present, he is the advisor in minority affairs.
Mamata Mahanta is a women leader in Mayurbhanj- a northern Odisha district; she belongs to a tribal community. Her selection to the Rajya Sabha by Naveen is to fit his campaign to boost women in political representation. His assessment of the political position of North Odisha can be another reason why he preferred Mamata.