Naveen elected as BJD chief for 7th time

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was on Sunday elected uncontested as the president of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for the 7th consecutive term.

The announcement was made by State returning officer (SRO) and former minister Pratap Keshari Deb at the party’s headquarters office here. Deb added as many as 80 state executive members have also been elected with the completion of organisational poll process which had commenced in the last week of December.

Soon after the announcement, the Chief Minister extended greetings to BJD workers of the state and asked the ministers to guide the workers of the party.

Noting that BJD has become a powerful regional party, Patnaik said its significance in the national politics has also increased considerably.

The party’s most important strength is that it has won the trust and confidence of the people of Odisha, he said.

Describing Odisha’s prosperity and pride as BJD’s goal, Patnaik said the party’s battle against “historic negligence” towards the state has raised the faith of the people in BJD which aims at ensuring inclusive growth.

The ruling party has programmes for all sections of society starting from farmers to labourers, women, students, youths, tribals and dalits.

Patnaik was the lone candidate to file nomination papers for the post. The nomination papers of the Chief Minister as the party president were submitted to the State returning officer (SRO) Pratap Keshari Deb by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh, Surya Narayan Patro, Pratap Jena, Rajanikanta Singh, Pradip Panigrahi and Manas Madkami.

The nomination papers of Naveen Patanaik was supported by 10 leaders including Cuttack district unit president Pratap Jena, senior leader SN Patro, minister Pradeep Panigrahi and Angul district unit president Rajanikant Singh.

Talking to the media persons, senior BJD leader and Kendrapara MP, Baijayant Panda, said Naveen Babu is not only the elected president of the BJD, but also the founder of the party. “It is due to his deft leadership, BJD has been able to maintain its immense popularity in the state. The people of Odisha have been witnessing the success of the party since last 19 years and I am confident that the BJD in the next three years will go from strength to strength,” he added.

The first meeting of the executive committee of the party after the organisational election was held today and the results were declared formally.

The organisational polls of the regional party were held in five phases. The process reached the final stage with the filing of nominations for the post of president.

The BJD had appointed district returning officers (DROs) for 32 organisational districts in December last year to start the process for party polls.

DROs were appointed by State returning officer (SRO) and former minister Pratap Keshari Deb.