BHUBANESWAR: Even as the three Rajya Sabha candidates of the ruling BJD will file their nomination papers in the presence of Chief Minister and party supremo Naveen Patnaik, questions are doing the rounds in political circles here as to why two of the existing MPs were denied a renomination.Three seats fell vacant from Odisha as the term of AU Singhdeo, Dilip Tirkey and AV Swami will be over on April 3. As Swami was an independent supported by the BJD, there were remote chances of his renomination. However, both Singhdeo and Tirkey were in the race till the last.
Tirkey was the leader of the BJD in the Rajya Sabha. He was expected to get a second in view of the interest shown by the Chief Minister and the State Government in the promotion of hockey. Sources said Tirkey was not renominated as he is tipped to be the party’s candidate for the Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat. As the strength of BJD in the Assembly after the 2019 polls cannot be guessed now, sources said the party supremo did not want a vacancy in the Rajya Sabha so soon.
Singhdeo was elected to the Rajya Sabha on June 26, 2014 for a four year term to fill up the vacancy arising due to the resignation of Sashi Bhusan Behera, who was asked to contest the Assembly election.
Sources maintained that Singhdeo has been denied a second term as the party supremo did not want two persons from a family in the Parliament. Singhdeo’s son Kalikesh is Lok Sabha member from Balangir. Sources maintained that Singhdeo is also interested for an Assembly ticket for his other son Arkesh in the 2019 polls.
Besides, several other BJD leader from Western Odisha including Bhupinder Singh and Bimbadhar Kuanr were also in the race for a berth in the Upper House. However, Western Odisha region drew a blank this time though the BJD won the Bijepur by-poll with an overwhelming margin.