Vikash Sharma

Major opposition parties on Monday slammed the Odisha government soon after three new ministers were inducted into the council of ministers of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Three senior BJD leaders- Bikram Keshari Arukha, Sarada Nayak and Sudam Marndi took oath as cabinet ministers. While Bikram Keshari Arukha has been given the Finance portfolio, the School and Mass Education and Labour & Employees' State Insurance departments have gone to Sudam Marndi and Sarada Nayak, respectively.

“The induction of ministers is old win in new bottle. If the cabinet berths were given on the basis of seniority and skills, were the new ministers not efficient in the past?” questioned BJP leader, Golak Mohapatra.

Mohapatra further said that the BJP has been alleging involvement of several ministers including Samir Dash in murder of Dharmendra Sahu while Srikant Sahu failed to give justice to a woman. The state government admitted this and removed them from the cabinet.

“In Pari case, we had alleged the name of Arun Sahoo and Dibyashankar Mishra in Mamita Meher case. The names were raised, but the state government did not remove them at the very instance, rather they were shown doors at a later stage. It shows that government admits that its ministers are involved in murder and rape cases. But no action is being taken,” alleged Mohapatra adding that the ministers are just like rubber stamps here.

Congress MLA, Sura Routray said, “Everything has been done eyeing 2024 elections for grabbing tribal and other votes for which Sudam Marndi has been inducted. But here the ministers have no say in the decision-making.”

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