Bhubaneswar: Putting all speculations aside, Ama Odisha Party chief and former Bhubaneswar MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik today joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) at Naveen Nivas in the presence of Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik.
Patnaik’s holding the conch is considered to be a major development in the sphere of Odisha politics as BJD is all set to name its candidates for the Rajya Sabha seats in Odisha on Wednesday.
As Naveen had earlier announced that BJD would name three politicians to the Upper House of the Parliament, there were rumors that Soumya would be one of the three candidates. However, with his joining the party, it is almost ascertained that the former parliamentarian will be going to the Rajya Sabha.
Notably, three seats in Rajya Sabha from Odisha will fall vacant as the tenure of BJD Members AU Singhdeo and Dilip Tirkey as well as BJD-backed Independent candidate AV Swami is scheduled to end on April 2.
Soumya Ranjan Patnaik is also Founder and Editor of leading Odia Daily ‘Sambad’ and younger brother of former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik and son-in-law of former Assam Governor and Odisha CM Janaki Ballav Patnaik.
Patnaik who took birth on August 18, 1952 was elected to 11th Lok Sabha from Bhubaneswar on Congress ticket. However, he had left Congress and joined BJP. Later, he returned to Congress. He had formed the Ama Odisha Party on 26 November 2013 after he was expelled from Congress leader for ‘anti-party activities’.