Odisha chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik announced the names of former ministers AU Singhdeo and Bhupinder Singh as its candidates for by-elections to two Rajya Sabha seats in the state.
The elections, if required, would be held on July 3.
The by-elections were necessitated following the election of party leaders Sashi Bhushan Behera and Rabinarayan Mohapatra to the state Assembly in the recently held polls. While Behera was elected from the Jaydev Assembly segment, Mohapatra won the Ranapur seat.
However, it is not immediately clear who would fill which of the two seats. It may be noted here that while one seat is valid for the next two years, the tenure of another is for four years.
AU Singhdeo was elected to the Rajya Sabha ahead of the general elections but had to quit and contest the Bolangir Assembly seat, which he finally lost.
Bhupinder Singh, the former leader of Opposition in the Assembly and senior Congress leader took his party and people at large by surprise when he jumped sides and joined the ruling party before 2014 general election.