New faces likely to adorn Team Naveen 5.0

Bhubaneswar: With hardly a day left before Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik and other elected party members will take oath, speculation over who will find berth in the new cabinet has started to build up.

As per the schedule, Patnaik and his 21-member council of ministers will take oath of secrecy for the first time outside of Raj Bhawan. The Governor of Odisha Ganeshi Lal will administer oath of office to the MLAs at the Exhibition Ground at 10.30 AM tomorrow.

Amidst speculations that several senior and women leaders will be given preference in the council of ministers, several new faces who have won the Assembly elections from the BJD ticket might also be given role in the new cabinet team.

Talks are doing rounds that the BJD supremo might try to go a region-wise representation. The names of Surjya Narayan Patro, Gopalpur MLA and Ganjam party district president Gopal Panigrahy are among the probables. While Latika Pradhan who has won from the Kabisuryanagar constituency for the first time may also be allotted a department, Manohar Randhari from Nabarangpur might also be included in Naveen’s team.

In Western Odisha, where Naveen Patnaik himself contested during the elections is also likely to get representation in the likes of Susant Singh from Bargarh, Tukuni Sahu from Bolangir, Niranjan Pujari from Sonepur, Naba Das from Jharsuguda and Rohit Pujari from Sambalpur (Rairakhol).

While Prafulla Mallick from Dhenkanal, Pratap Jena from Cuttack and Ashok Panda from Khurda might retain their ministerial berths, Ranendra Pratap Swain might be given a new department.

Similarly, Prasant Muduli from Jagatsinghpur, Sameer Das from Puri, Pratap Deb from Kendrapara are also likely to feature in the council of ministers. Speculation is rife that some other faces in the party organisation like Arun Sahu from Nayagarh and Pranab Prakash Das may also be granted the opportunity to head various departments.