BJD leader Pratap Keshari Deb was today elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Odisha.
Odisha Assembly secretary A K Sarangi, who was the returning officer for the election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat, announced Deb's election to the upper house.
The by-election was necessitated as Bishnu Charan Das had resigned from the Rajya Sabha in March. The opposition Congress and the BJP had not fielded any candidate for the by-poll.
"I will raise issues relating to Odisha's interest in the Rajya Sabha. I am grateful to party president Naveen Patnaik for sending me to the upper house of Parliament," Deb told reporters later.
Deb was a spokesman of the ruling BJD and the chairman of the Odisha state housing board till he filed his nomination for the by-poll on May 15.
He was earlier a minister of state for food supplies and consumer welfare in the previous BJD government. Deb had won the assembly elections thrice in a row in 2000, 2004 and 2009 from Aul seat.
He had, however, lost the 2014 assembly election to Congress candidate Debendra Sharma.
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