BHUBANESWAR, MAY 18, 2022
Santosh Kumar Amat who quit the lucrative India Revenue Service (IRS) in 1993 and joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in 2017, is likely to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Odisha, elections for which will be held in June.
Western Odisha’s well-educated and firebrand tribal leader and the blue-eyed boy of BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Amat was made the first chairman of the Special Development Council and also a panellist in order to counter BJP MP Jual Oram in Sundergarh in 2017. Amat has a clean image and wide acceptability across all sections of society which is likely to tilt the balance in his favour.
It many be recalled that the Sundargarh parliamentary constituency was declared reserved for woman candidate during the 2019 General election and BJD the seat lost by 2.24 lakh votes besides all the 5 tribal MLA seats. Keeping this in view, the BJD strategists are chalking out plans to regain the Parlaimentary and Aseembly seats in 2024 General elections. So, there is whisper in the BJD power corridor that tribal leader Santosh Amat would be nominated to the Rajya Sabha to counter the Opposition during the forthcoming General elections.
Notably, elections to three Rajya Sabha seats which will fall vacant following completion of the tenure of BJD members — N Bhaskar Rao, Prasanna Acharya and Sasmit Patra — will be held on June 10.
The fourth seat that fell vacant after the resignation of BJD member Subhash Chandra Singh, who has been elected as the Mayor of Cuttack Municipal Corporation, will go to polls on June 13.