A new cabinet is to be sworn in on Sunday in Odisha, after all ministers in the Naveen Patnaik led BJD-ministry resigned a day before to allow the chief minister to reshuffle his ministry.
Patnaik who recently completed 23 years in office apparently wants to give a new look to his ministry before the 2024 elections to the Lok Sabha and Assembly, analysts said.
This is the first time in the political history of Odisha that all ministers were directed to quit.
Sources in the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) said that more than six of the 20 ministers who resigned are likely to be dropped from the new ministry.
Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal has been informed about the oath-taking ceremony which will be held on Sunday at the state secretariat, the Lok Seva Bhavan.
The new ministers will take the oath of office at 11.45 am at a function to be held at the Convention Centre on the premises of the Lok Seva Bhavan on Sunday, a highly placed source in the Raj Bhavan told PTI.
Sources said that all ministers have submitted their resignation letters to Patnaik within 7 PM Saturday, following which some of the would-be ministers received phone calls to remain prepared for the oath-taking ceremony on Sunday.
Bracing for the 2024 Assembly elections, Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik on Sunday recast his council of ministers, inducting five women ministers, besides giving larger representation to the youth as 21 MLAs took the oath of offices.
The new council of ministers was constituted after all 20 ministers in Odisha had resigned on Saturday. The reshuffle has been done to give an opportunity to new faces and introduce a combination of young and experienced leaders from BJD into the cabinet ahead of the 2024 general and assembly elections.
The swearing-in ceremony took place in the new convention centre of Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar. A total of 21 Ministers, including 13 Cabinet and 8 Minister of State (Independent charge), took oath in the Naveen Patnaik-led state council of ministers. Five women MLAs were inducted in the council of ministers, including three as Cabinet Ministers.
In the last cabinet, only two women were part of the council of ministers. The newly-inducted women cabinet ministers are Pramila Mallik, Usha Devi and Tukuni Sahu.
Jagannath Saraka, Niranjan Pujari, Ranendra Pratap Swain, Prafulla Kumar Mallik, Pratap Keshari Deb and Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak are among Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLAs who took oath as new cabinet ministers. Further, Pradip Kumar Amat, Naba Kisore Das, Ashok Chandra Panda and Rajendra Dholakia were also administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ganeshi Lal at the ceremony.
The MLAs who were inducted as Minister of State (Independent charge) include Samir Ranjan Dash, Aswini Kumar Patra, Pritiranjan Gharai, Srikanta Sahu, Tusharkanti Behera, Rohit Pujari, Rita Sahu and Basanti Hembram.
Some of the ministers who have performed well in their respective offices and still dropped from the cabinet are likely to get important responsibilities in the party organization in view of the next election, according to sources.
The Naveen Patnaik government has completed three years of its fifth consecutive term as the Chief Minister of Odisha on May 29. All Advisors/Chairpersons of 23 different departments/Corporations/ Boards etc shall cease to be in office with effect from June 5 (Sunday), Planning and Convergence Department has issued an official notification, after the order passed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, read order by the state government.