The non-politicians included an industrialist, a philanthropist and a retired bureaucrat, sources said.
Elections to three 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 mayor of Cuttack Municipal Corporation, will go to polls on June 13. Sources said the list of aspirants is getting longer with each passing day as victory of the BJD in all the four RS seats is a foregone conclusion going by its strength in the assembly.
The party at present has 113 MLAs in the 146-member assembly (one passed away). There has also been hectic lobbying for the three seats which will fall vacant while the term of the fourth seat vacated by Singh will end in 2026.
According to BJD insiders, the party has already started the exercise of zeroing in on candidates for all the four seats though names will be officially declared in May last week. The names are being finalized keeping in mind the representation of different regions and the 2024 general and assembly polls.
“We are confident that whoever will be picked by our party president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik will be elected to the Rajya Sabha. Regarding candidature, it will be decided by the chief minister at an appropriate time,” said senior BJD leader Shashi Bhusan Behera.
BJD insiders said while the party is in favour of renominating Patra for a second term, tribal leader Pradeep Majhi, who recently switched to BJD by quitting the Congress, may be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
Names of some young leaders like Manas Mangaraj, Shreemayee Mishra, Lelin Mohanty and Bijay Nayak are also doing the rounds. An industrialist, who has made huge investments in Odisha, is also lobbying for a BJD ticket, said party insiders.
Some BJD veterans like Prasanna Patsani and Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik, who were earlier assured by the chief minister of Rajya Sabha berths, are also hopeful of getting elected to the upper House this time.