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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: After winning eight Lok Sabha seats in 2019 polls against one in 2014 polls, arguably, there is an increased likelihood of more BJP MPs from the State getting included in Modi's council of ministers.

Eight party candidates-Jual Oram, Suresh Pujari, Pratap Sarangi, Aparajita Sarangi, Sangeeta Singh Deo, Basant Panda, Bisheswar Tudu and Nitesh Gangdeb- have registered victories in the Lok Sabha polls. While Jual and Dharmendra Pradhan are likely to get ministerial berths for the second time under Modi's leadership, first-timers like Aparajita, Pratap and Suresh also seem to be among the favourites.

"Decisions related to the ministerial berth totally depend on PM Modi. He will create his team. My work is to work for the party and the party will think about me," said Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari.

On her aspirations of a ministerial berth, the newly elected Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi said, "It will not be appropriate for me to tell anything related to it as the decision-making lies with the top leaders of the party and we will abide by their decision."

Similarly, Balasore MP Pratap Sarangi said that he is not bothered about any ministerial berth. "I am a newly-elected MP without any experience of being a parliamentarian," said Sarangi adding that he is happy that the people of Balasore reposed faith on him and the BJP.

In 2014 elections, BJP had got 21 per cent vote in Lok Sabha polls and Jual Oram was the only MP from Odisha. However, the saffron party increased its vote percentage to 38 per cent in 2019 polls and also added seven more seats to its MP kitty. So, speculations are rife that more MPs from Odisha will get ministerial berth. Besides, BJP's 'look-east' strategy has also raised expectations of more ministerial berths for Odisha MPs.

Keonjhar's newly-elected BJP MLA Mohan Majhi said, "We expect three to four of our MPs to be inducted in the Central cabinet but the final decision lies with the party."

Meanwhile, political experts believe that from the party's future prospects point of view, the BJP will focus more towards east and north-east. "BJP has done quite well in states like West Bengal and Odisha and it will not ignore these states including the north-east keeping in view its future prospects in the region," said political analyst Rajaram Satapathy.

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