Naveen Patnaik unveiled his new Council of Ministers. The Chief Minister of Odisha has dropped controversial Ministers and gives more representation to the western part of the state. Odisha: Naveen Patnaik Reshuffles Council
On Sunday, Naveen Patnaik, the chief minister of Odisha, unveiled his new Council of Ministers. He reshuffled his Council after all 20 ministers resigned. Patnaik inducted 13 MLA’s in his Cabinet an appointed 8 others as ministers of state with independent charge. Three out of five women ministers in his Council have cabinet ranks. These include Pramila Mallick, Usha Devi and Tukuni Sahu. They and others swore in the new convention center of the Lok Seva Bhavan in Bhubaneswar .Odisha: Naveen Patnaik Reshuffles Council
The Chief Minister had also dropped 11 cabinet ministers and ministers of state.Some of the big names are Law Minister Pratap Jena, Higher Education Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, and Minister of State for Home Captain Divya Shankar Mishra. Jena, in particular, held multiple portfolios under the previous council. Patnaik also didn’t retain Sudam Marndi (Revenue and Disaster), Padmanabha Behera(commerce and transport)Susanta Singh (rural development and labour), and Bikram Keshari Arukha(Environment and Parliamentary Affairs). Ministers like Samir Ranjan Dash and Tushar Kanti Behera have been retained.There are also newer faces like Pritiranjan Gadhai, Srikant Sahu and Rohit Pujari.
Why the Reshuffle?
Minister Pratap Jena resigned after his name surfaced in the Mahanga double murder case last year. He and Dibya Shankar Mishra got embroiled in a controversy following the murder of a female schoolteacher in Kalahandi. Sahoo had allegedly shielded an alleged murderer of a minor girl in Nayagarh district in 2020.
Patnaik has given greater representation to ministers from Western Odisha. He has made his plans keeping 2024 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in mind. In 2019, BJP won in Balasore, Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Sambalpur. Meanwhile, Patnaik may still give organizational duties to deopped ministers, claim party sources. In 2017, He had asked 10 of his ministers to resign, 5 of these ministers were given district unit responsibilities.
(Inputs, the Indian Express)