Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD president Naveen Patnaik on Friday nominated former minister and MLA Rajanikant Singh as the regional party’s candidate for the post of Deputy Speaker in the Odisha Legislative Assembly.Similarly, Patnaik, who is also the Chief Minister of Odisha, appointed Dharmasala MLA, Pranab Balabantaray, as the Deputy Chief Whip in the Assembly, the General Secretary of BJD, Bijay Nayak, said. The ruling BJD has 111 MLAs in the 147-member Odisha Assembly, the BJP has 23 legislators and nine MLAs belong to Congress. The CPI(M) and the Independent have one MLA each, while two seats are vacant at present. Election is pending in Patkura Assembly segment, while the Bijepur seat has been vacated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Patnaik was elected from both Hinjili and Bijepur Assembly segments in the recently held Assembly elections in the state.