Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday said polling for 55 Rajya Sabha seats spread over 17 States, including four seats in Odisha will be conducted on March 26.
Elections will be held for the seats to be vacated by Anubhav Mohanty, Ranjib Biswal, Narendra Swain and Sarojini Hembram.
Announcing the schedule, the ECI said in a statement, “The term of office of 55 members of the Rajya Sabha elected from 17 States is due to expire on their retirement in April, 2020.”
As per the schedule notification would be issued on March 6, the last date of filing of nominations would be March 13 and polling would be on March 26, from 9 am to 4 pm. The votes would be counted at 5 pm on the same day.
The tenure of Biswal of Congress, Swain and Hembram of BJD will end on April 2, 2020. Though Anubhav Mohanty had resigned from the Rajya Sabha after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kendrapada in May, there was no by-election for his seat as less than a year was left for completion of his tenure. His Rajya Sabha tenure will also end on April 2, 2020.
Though the ruling BJD has the required strength to win three out of four seats comfortably on its own. Naveen Patnaik’s BJD has 112 members in the 147-member Odisha Legislative Assembly. BJP has 23 members while Congress has nine members.
Notably, BJP candidate Ashwini Vaisnav had won the fourth Rajya Sabha seat with the tacit support of BJD last year, though the saffron party did not have the required strength in the State Assembly.