BJD's aim is total empowerment of women: Naveen

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Several ruling BJD leaders were distressed over Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ignoring claims of party leaders and handing over the Rajya Sabha tickets to Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Achyuta Samanta within hours of recruiting them to the party.

The first nomination papers were filed by Prashant Nanda following which Achyuta Samanta and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik filed their nomination papers before Returning Officer Rajesh Prabhakar Patil at room number 54 of Odisha Legislative Assembly.

Ama Odisha Party chief Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said, "I will at least try to raise issues which I think needs attention for the long term development of Odisha". Munna Khan, another Rajya Sabha aspirant, said BJD would have done better to nominate him to the Upper House as it would have satisfied members of the minority community to which he belongs.

Notably, the last date for filing nomination papers for the polls is March 12.

Achyuta Samanta's nomination papers revealed that he owns immovable property of Rs 4.12 lakh and movable property of Rs 1.86 lakh.

Odisha's prominent media tycoon Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, who floated the Aama Odisha Party after his expulsion from Congress in 2013, joined the Biju Janata Dal on Wednesday. While nomination papers will be scrutinized on March 13, the last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15.

The polling and counting will be held on March 23.

Worth mentioning, three seats in Rajya Sabha from Odisha will be lying vacant after the tenure of AU Singhdeo (BJD), Dilip Tirkey (BJD) and AV Swami (Independent) ending on April 2, 2018.

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