Bhubaneswar: Former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey and two other candidates of Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) were Thursday elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from the state, an official said.
The BJD had fielded Tirkey, senior party leader Rabinarayan Mohapatra, and social activist A.V. Swamy to fill the three vacant seats from the state.
“Since there was no other contestant, there is no need to hold election March 30. We declared them elected,” a senior official of the assembly involved in the election process told IANS.
The election was necessitated due to the completion of tenure of Biju Janata Dal’s Kishor Mohanty, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rudra Narayan Pani and Congress’s Sushila Tiriya.
Tirkey, a veteran defender, had announced his retirement two years ago from international hockey citing fitness problems.
The former captain, born Nov 24, 1977, in the state’s Sundergarh district, has come a long way since he had his international baptism as an 18-year-old.
He has seen three Olympic Games (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004), and as many World Cups, Asian Games and Asia Cups, and Champions Trophy tournaments behind him. He was also conferred the Padma Shri Award and Ekalavya award.