Naveen Patnaik takes oath as Odisha CM for fifth time in a row

PTI

Naveen Patnaik takes oath as Odisha Chief Minister

Naveen Patnaik takes oath as Odisha Chief Minister

Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik Wednesday took oath as the Chief Minister of Odisha for a fifth consecutive term.

Patnaik was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ganeshi Lal in a grand ceremony at the Idco Exhibition Ground here.

The BJD, which won 112 seats in the 147-member Assembly in the recently concluded elections, held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls, has been in power in Odisha since 2000.

It is the first time Patnaik has taken oath in an open public ground. In 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2014, he was sworn in at the Raj Bhavan.

Apart from chief minister’s elder brother and businessman Prem Patnaik, sister and noted writer Gita Mehta, around 7,000 dignitaries including captains of industries attended the swearing-in ceremony.

A large number of BJD supporters and women grass root leaders attended the function.

Patnaik’s new ministry will have 10 new faces: Telkoi MLA Premaanda Nayak, Titlagarh MLA Tukuni Sahu, Nimapara MLA Sameer Das, Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das, Kotpad MLA Padmini Dian, Balikuda-Erasama MLA Raghunandan Das, Junagarh MLA Dibyashankar Mishra, Bissam Cuttack MLA Jagannath Saraka, Simulia MLA Jyotiprakash Panigarhi, and Kakatpur MLA Tusharkanti Behera.

The 11 cabinet ministers are: Ranendra Pratap Swain, Bikram Keshari Arukha, Prafulla Mallick, Niranjan Pujari, Padmanabh Behera, Pratap Jena, Arun Kumar Sahoo, Sudam Marandi, Sushant Singh, Naba Kishore Das, and Tukuni Sahu.

The nine Ministers of State are: Ashok Chandra Panda, Sameer Ranjan Dash, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Dibya Shankar Mishra, Premananda Nayak, Raghunandan Das, Padmini Dian (Woman), Tusharkanti Behera and Jagannath Saraka.

Bikram Arukh, Pratap Jena, Niranjan Pujari, Prafulla Mallick, Ashok Panda and Sushant Singh are among the legislators who retained their ministerial berths.

Senior MLA and former minister S N Patro is likely to be named as the Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly while Binjharpur MLA Pramila Mallick may be appointed as the government’s chief whip, sources said.

Meanwhile, a day before taking oath as chief minister for a fifth consecutive term, BJD president Naveen Patnaik Tuesday visited Shree Jagannath temple in Puri and sought blessings of the Lord.

“I prayed to Lord Jagannath for the people of Odisha before I take oath as chief minister tomorrow in Bhubaneswar,” Patnaik told reporters outside the temple.

The Biju Janata Dal, which secured 112 seat in the 147-member Odisha Assembly in the recently concluded elections, held along with Lok Sabha polls, has been in power in the state since 2000.

Though Patnaik in earlier four occasions (2000, 2004, 2009 and 2014) was sworn in at the Raj Bhavan, this is for the first time that he will be taking oath in a grand manner.

The BJP has bagged 23 and the Congress nine assembly seats in the state. Independent and CPI(M) have secured one seat each.

(PTI)