The three nominees filed their papers before the returning officer in the presence of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha and other senior party leaders.
The trio filed papers for the three Rajya Sabha seats which will fall vacant in April. While founder and editor of an Odiya daily Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and founder of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar, Achyuta Samanta joined the BJD on Wednesday, Prashanta Nanda was the spokesperson of the ruling party.
Actor-turned-politician Prashant Nanda was elected to the state assembly twice and has been a minister, while Soumya Ranjan Patnaik was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996.
Three seats in Rajya Sabha from the state will fall vacant as the tenure of BJD Members AU Singhdeo and Dilip Tirkey as well as BJD-backed Independent candidate AV Swami will end on April 2.
However, taking into consideration the absolute majority of the BJD in the state assembly with 118 members in the 147-member house, the election would be a formality even if the opposition fields any candidate. In the assembly, Congress has 14 members and BJP 10 legislators.
As per the schedule announced by the Election Commission, the last date of filing nominations is March 12, scrutiny of nominations is slated for March 13 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15.
The polling would begin at 9 am and end at 4 pm while counting of votes and announcement of results would be made on March 23. The poll process would be completed on March 26.