Ministry Reshuffle: 10 New Ministers take oath, 2 elevated to cabinet rank
Bhubaneswar: Ten ministers including six new faces from Biju Janta Dal (BJD) were inducted into the Naveen Patnaik cabinet at the oath taking ceremony held at Odisha Raj Bhavan here in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
Two senior leaders–Steel and mines minister Prafulla Mallick and commerce and transport minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi were also elevated to the status of cabinet rank in the Naveen Patnaik government.
Governor SC Jamir administered the oath to the new cabinet members. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Deputy Speaker and others leaders of BJD were also present on the occasion.
“Ten leaders including six took oath cabinet rank and 4 will be inducted as Ministers of State,” said Naveen Patnaik.
Naveen seems to have reposed his confidence in party veterans—Niranjan Pujari, Surya Naryan Patro, Prafulla Samal, Pratap Jena and Maheswar Mohanty who have been brought back into the ministry for the second time.
Sushant Singh, Nrushingha Sahu, Anant Das and Chandra Sarathi Behera and Sashi Bhusan Behera are first time ministers.
“I thank Naveen Patnaik for reposing faith and will perform to best of my abilities,” said Niranjan Pujari after taking oath as cabinet minister.
The new ministers of state are Sushant Singh, Nrushinga Sahoo, Chandra Sarathi Behera, son of former minister Kalandi Charan Behera, and BJD chief whip Ananta Narayan Das.
The name of Karanjia MLA Bijay Nayak, who was supposed to take oath as Minister of state rank, has been dropped in the last minute,official sources said.
As many as 13 districts are not represented in the new Ministry which has come as a big surprise for many within the party as the reshuffle is being said to have been done to strengthen the party at the grassroots level.