Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday virtually endorsed the name of Ranendra Pratap Swain as the BJD candidate in Athagarah, by-poll to which would be held on March 18.

Talking to mediapersons here, BJD chief Naveen Patnaik said that the BJD chief said the former BJD MLA and former Minister was a senior member of the party and had done good works in the constituency.

“I would take a formal decision regarding the candidature after consulting with the senior party leaders,” Patnaik said.

The process for filing of nomination papers would start from February 22 and will continue till February 29.