Reshuffle to take place tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: The much-awaited state cabinet reshuffle process began on Monday night with two ministers being asked to tender resignation.

The six-time legislator and state Agriculture minister Dr Damodar Rout was asked by chief minister Naveen Patnaik to resign. Moments later, Sports and Youth Affairs minister from Morada constituency Prabin Bhanj Deo also tendered his resignation.

Dr Rout has confirmed that he has sent in his resignation to chief minister. The senior BJD leader who was embroiled in several controversies had held many vital portfolios during Biju Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik’s regime. 

Rout drew flak for allegedly making casteist remarks during a public meeting in Jagatsinghpur district in August 2010.

Following a complaint lodged against Rout, a case was registered against him under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.

The high-profile leader had to secure bail from a local court as per High Court directive. But, political rivals and dalit oragnisations were after Rout for his removal from the ministry.

On the other hand sources have indicated that few new faces are likely to find place in the cabinet.

However, Pipili MLA Pradeep Maharathi is all set to be inducted into the cabinet, sources added. 

As per sources, the reshuffle will be effected tomorrow and sworn-in ceremony will be held here at 3.00 pm.