Sanjay Dasburma resigns, other ministers to follow suit

Bhubaneswar: The process for the much-awaited expansion-cum-reshuffle of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led Cabinet has started with Food and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma tendering his resignation here on Saturday.

Though the ministry reshuffle is likely to be held tomorrow, 10 ministers in the existing Naveen Patnaik cabinet are expected to be dropped while some ministers have already been asked to tender their resignation by 4 pm today.

Existing ministers – Debi Prasad Mishra, Pradip Panigrahi, Lal Bihari Himirika, Jogendra Behera, Snehangini Churia, Sudam Marandi and Puspendra Singhdeo might also face the axe.

Senior leaders –Maheswar Mohanty, Ranendra Pratap Swain, Pratap Jena, and Surya Narayan Patro are touted to be the front runners to secure minister berth in the cabinet reshuffle.

Several BJD leaders including Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and spokesperson Pratap Deb have started to make beelines to Naveen Nivas today.

Sources said, the Chief Minister will try his best to strike a balance by inducting young legislators and senior leaders of the party, while keeping in mind several factors, most important being 2019 elections.

A final list of leaders who would be inducted as ministers with portfolios is expected to be released soon after their resignations by tonight.