Both the leaders filed their nomination papers in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The by-elections, slated for July 3, were necessitated following the election of party leaders Sashi Bhushan Behera and Rabinarayan Mohapatra to the Assembly in the recently concluded elections. The two seats fell vacant after they gave up their Rajya Sabha membership.

While Singhdeo filed his nomination for the seat vacated by Mohapatra, which has nearly four years of its term left, Singh filed his papers for the seat vacated by Behera with about two years of its tenure left, assembly officials said.

The BJD has 117 legislators in 147 member House.

(Agencies)

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