Ramakanta Biswas

Former minister and BJD MLA from Bhanjanagar constituency, Bikram Keshari Arukha on Friday filed his nomination for election to the coveted post of Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly.

The election for the Speaker post is scheduled to be held on June 13 at 10.30 am.

The Assembly Speaker post fell vacant after Surjya Narayan Patro resigned from the post owing to health issues.

According to political analysts, Arukha is all set to win the election uncontested as none of the MLAs would file nomination for the post and the BJD has also the required strength.

Speaking to journalists after filing his nomination, Arukha said, “I would like to thank Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as he has proposed my name for the post of Speaker of the Assembly. In the coming days, I would continue to put my efforts to maintain the tradition and honourability intact.”

He also sought the cooperation of all members of the House for smooth running of the House.

Notably, Arukha has been a member of the Assembly for last 27 years. He has the experience of serving in several key portfolios like Public Enterprises, Rural Development, Information and Public Relations, Forest and Environment and Parliamentary Affairs and Law. He has also served as the Chief Whip of the government. Besides, in the absence of the Speaker, he often stepped into the former’s shoes and discharged his duties with utmost sincerity.

On June 4, Naveen Patnaik’s all 20 ministers had resigned from their respective posts and in the revamped cabinet, 13 MLAs were given cabinet ministerial berths while seven secured state portfolios. But, Arukha hadn’t got any post and his name had since been speculated as the next Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly.