BJD leader Naveen Patnaik has fielded at least four Rajya Sabha MPs in Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Odisha even as the party received more than 50,000 applications for the ensuing polls.
Facing problems of plenty, the BJD leader decided to utilise the services of Rajya Sabha MPs as it could not find suitable candidates, a senior BJD leader said.
The Rajya Sabha legislators who have been put to contest by the party are: Dilip Tirkey, Rabi Narayan Mohapatra, Sasahi Bhusan Behera and A U Singhdeo.
While Tirkey is in the fray from Sundergarh Lok Sabha seat, Mohapatra has been given party ticket from Ranpur assembly segment in Nayagarh district.
Both Tirkey and Mohapatra's term as Rajya Sabha MPs was scheduled to end on April 2, 2018.
Sashi Bhusan Behera, whose Rajya Sabha membership was scheduled to expire on July 1, 2016, will represent BJD from Jaydev assembly segment.
Interestingly, sitting MLA A U Singhdeo, who was elected to Rajya Sabha recently, has been recalled and fielded as a BJD candidate from Bolangir assembly seat.
Singhdeo was asked to join the poll fray even before taking oath as a member of the Upper House of Parliament.
"Singhdeo has been fielded from Bolangir assembly segment. He will resign from Rajya Sabha seat soon," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
Meanwhile, the party has decided to send cine star Anubhav Mohanty to Rajya Sabha against the vacancies to be created in the Upper House.
The sources said Patnaik also plans to accomodate some senior leaders who have been denied party ticket this time in the general elections.
"My party leader has assured me that he will consider my case as a candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls against possible vacancies," senior BJD leader and Sukinda MLA Prafulla Ghadai told reporters.
While announcing the list of candidates this week, Patnaik said, "We have received more than 50,000 applications for BJD candidature from every corner of our state." The applications were received for 147 Assembly and 21 Parliamentary Constituencies.