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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday appointed former Rajya Sabha member Bhupinder Singh as chairman of State Housing Board while former deputy Speaker Ramachandra Panda was appointed as State Planning Board member.

Singh will get all facilities at par with a Cabinet Minister while Panda has been given the position of a Minister of State rank.

The appointment of Housing Board chairperson was necessitated following resignation of Pratap Deb after being elected to Rajya Sabha.

Singh was sent to the upper House for a short period soon after he deserted Congress and joined BJD. Since then, he was not given any party or government position. His appointment also assumed significance as no leader had represented Kalahandi district in the government after resignation of Puspendra Singhdeo from the State Cabinet.

On the other hand Ramachandra Panda, a former BJP leader, who had not been given any responsibility since he joined BJD was given a post, may be to strengthen party base in Ganjam.

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