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07 July, 2020, 07:21 AM IST

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BJD's majority should push Naveen Patnaik's candidate through to Rajya Sabha

Elections for the seats are to be held on March 26 when 17 states elect 55 new members to the upper house. The BJD has 113 members in an assembly of 147. The BJP 23 and the Congress a mere nine. At least three of Patnaik’s nominees are likely to make it through comfortably.

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  • The influential Jajpur MLA, Pranab Prakash Das has been appointed General Secretary (Organisation) a position that the regional party, in power since the last 19 years, did not have until now.

    The undiminished popularity of Patnaik has ensured the regional party’s dominance in the state. He has similarly retained a complete hold over the party, which was founded on December 26, 1997 by some of his father’s old colleagues who have either fallen out and gone their own way or don’t matter in the scheme of things within the BJD.

    Outside the NDA fold, BJD has emerged as BJP’s most prominent ally. In June, Patnaik surprised everyone by backing BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate Ashwini Vaishnav despite his party having the numbers to send a third BJD nominee to the House. Now, Patnaik-led BJD has decided to support the government on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

    The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 has nothing to do with Indian citizens, it only deals with the foreigners.

    Naveen Patnaik, for the first time in his long twenty years in government, had contested from two seats during the simultaneous state and general elections earlier this year.

    The suggestions, which were learnt to have made in a letter to the Speaker on Tuesday by Mahtab, who had earlier sought the Chair’s permission to convene the meetings of the Standing Committees via videoconference due to the lockdown.

    Bijoy Mohapatra, a founder member of the BJD, has lost every election since he left the party nearly two decades ago.

    Odisha’s anti-Covid19 campaign has been led by the bureaucracy which is in keeping with Patnaik’s style of governance. Its political class is not just having to take a backseat and come to terms with its long absence from public view in a time of crisis. Stepping out to be seen as relevant and useful can be just as awkward on the other hand.

    After the Narendra Modi government had conferred constitutional status to the OBC commission, Pradhan had written to the CM asking for Odisha government to set up an OBC commission and offer quotas in educational institutes.

    Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the state would move the Centre for a socio-economic caste enumeration to be done either by inserting suitable columns in the census format or by prescribing a separate format for a simultaneous enumeration of socially and educationally backward classes and other backward classes or castes.

    While Lok Sabha MP Rabindra Kumar Jena, whose factory and offices had been raided by the CBI, will contest once again from Balasore.

    The prime minister undertook an aerial survey of the vast swamp that many districts have turned into, after the cyclone dumped copious rain on Wednesday and the accompanying winds flattened homes, bludgeoned massive trees to the ground like matchsticks, and plunged city after city into darkness.

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