Srikant Jena elevates as Independent Minister of Cabinet
Sources close to the Minister, however, maintained that Jena, who continues to be Minister of State in Chemicals and Fertilisers, was expecting a cabinet berth.
Jena who weathered the pro-BJD wave in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections to win the Balasore Lok Sabha constituency was among the six Congress leaders from the state to be elected to Parliament.
A Cabinet Minister in the United Front government, he made no bones about his unhappiness at not being nominated as a Cabinet Minister in the UPA government and had even met Congress president Sonia Gandhi soon after the first Cabinet reshuffle in January this year.
He had contended that a representation from Odisha in the Cabinet would help revive the party in the state as he was the sole member from the state in the Cabinet.
A graduate from Utkal University, Jena has held several important positions and as a member in the Committee on Public Accounts, Committee on Public Undertakings, Library Committee and Committee on Environment.
He was a Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism in the 11th Lok Sabha.