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.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)