Pradeep Pattanayak

With many a senior leader not finding a place in the CM’s council of ministers and several districts lacking representation, all eyes are now on CM Mohan Majhi's next step. 

Newly-elected Sambalpur MLA and party’s senior leader Jayanarayan Mishra was conspicuous in his absence in the swearing-in ceremony of BJP’s first government at Janata Maidan on Wednesday. The reason for his absence is said to be his disappointment in not being given any ministerial berth. Similarly, the supporters of newly-elected Kantabanji MLA Laxman Bag, who turned out to be former Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s nemesis, are said to be dissatisfied as he has not been included in the cabinet. 

Newly-elected Koraput MLA Raghuram Machha and lone BJP MLA from Bhubaneswar Babu Singh were also in the race to get berths. 
“People chose me over former Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. I can’t say what the BJP would give Kantabanji. But I will discharge whatever responsibility the party gives to me,” said MLA Bag. 

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Koraput MLA Machha said, “Importance has been given to Northern Odisha, Western Odisha and Eastern Coastal Odisha. I hope Southern Odisha will also get its due importance.”

“The foremost duty should be to work for the betterment of Odisha and its people. So, I won’t leave any stone unturned in discharging whatever responsibilities are given to me,” said Bhubaneswar Ekamra MLA, Babu Singh. 

 While 13 districts are given representation in the newly formed Cabinet, districts including Kendrapara, Balasore, Cuttack and Koraput have no representation. 

As per the rule, the newly-formed BJP government in Odisha can have a total of 22 ministers including the Chief Minister. With the Chief Minister, two Deputy Chief Ministers and 13 other Ministers being administrated oath, the party still has scope to take six more ministers. 

Now all eyes are on the Chief Minister’s next move on how to pacify the dissatisfied leaders and give representation to left out districts.  

According to political analysts, none other than KV Singh Deo has experience of being a Minister. If the party doesn’t include strong and experienced leaders in the Cabinet, the strong Opposition may cause trouble for the party. 

“There is discernible discontent among some leaders. Jayanarayan Mishra’s absence in the swearing-in ceremony suggests his disappointment for not being included in the Cabinet. While choosing six other ministers, it should be considered that they are strong enough to face the Opposition,” said Prasanna Mohanty, political analyst.

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