Speculations rife on induction of newly-elected Odisha MPs into Union Ministry

Bhubaneswar: After securing landslide victory in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) begins preparations for formation of the new government, speculations on inclusion of newly elected MPs from Odisha in the Ministry have begun to take shape.

Eight party candidates-Jual Oram, Suresh Pujari, Pratap Sarangi, Aparajita Sarangi, Sangeeta Singh Deo, Basant Panda, Bisheswar Tudu and Nitesh Ganga Deb- registered victory in the Lok Sabha elections.

Apart from Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan, who were ministers in the last last tenure, speculations are doing rounds that the Ministry might induct new faces. Especially, due to party’s better performance, talks are doing rounds that national secretary Suresh Pujari might be given a portfolio in the new ministry. Similarly, bureaucrat-turned politician Aparajita Sarangi might also be given a portfolio in the Union Ministry.

However, sources said that the decision of allotment of portfolios is likely to be taken by Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

All the elected candidates of BJP along with the winning members of ally parties of the NDA today unanimously elected Narendra Modi as the head of the parliamentary party. Modi later met President Ram Nath Kovind to stake claim to form the new government.

According to sources, party chief Amit Shah, who once again played an instrumental role to reinstate Modi government at the Centre, may be given a crucial ministry. Apart from him, Smriti Irani, who managed to defeat Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Congress’ bastion Amethi, may also be allotted important portfolio.

After successfully taking over the responsibility of Finance Ministry after 2014 elections, speculations are rife that Arun Jaitley is likely to stay out of ministerial responsibility on health grounds this time. Similarly, Piyush Goyal may be permanently given the charge of the crucial portolio. Goyal had presented the interim budget for election year budget in the absence of Jaitely.

While winning candidates of other allied parties like JDU, Shiv Sena, LJP might also demand their share during the allocation of ministries, it is also believed that the saffron party might give importance to West Bengal where it performed exceedingly well by winning 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats.

In the general elections, the BJD has secured 12 Lok Sabha seats, while the BJP won eight and the Congress managed to get one. Similarly, out of the 146 Assembly seats, the BJD won 112, while the BJP bagged 23 and Congress secured nine seats. The Communist Party of India-Marxist and an Independent candidate won one seat each.