Naveen Patnaik took oath as Odisha’s chief minister for the fifth consecutive term on Wednesday, 29 May, in Bhubaneswar, along with 20 of his ministers – half of whom are first-timers.
The ministers and the chief minister were administered the oath of the office at 10:50 am at a function at the Exhibition Ground in the state capital.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal on Tuesday appointed 11 Cabinet ministers and nine Ministers of State on the recommendations of Patnaik, a communication from Raj Bhavan said.
The strength of the council of ministers in Odisha at 21, including the chief minister, is less than 15 percent of the strength of the Assembly as prescribed by the Sarkaria Commission.
Patnaik's new ministry has 10 new faces, including two women: Telkoi MLA Premaanda Nayak, Titlagarh MLA Tukuni Sahu (woman), Nimapara MLA Sameer Das, Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das, Kotpad MLA Padmini Dian (woman), Balikuda-Erasama MLA Raghunandan Das, Junagarh MLA Dibyashankar Mishra, Bissam Cuttack MLA Jagannath Saraka, Simulia MLA Jyotiprakash Panigarhi, and Kakatpur MLA Tusharkanti Behera.
Senior MLA and former minister SN 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.
PM Modi, Congress Congratulate Patnaik
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate Naveen Patnaik on taking oath as Odisha’s CM and assured “complete cooperation” from the Centre. Arun Jaitley also tweeted his congratulations.
The official twitter handle of the Indian National Congress also put up a Tweet congratulating him on his “continued service to the people of Odisha”.
BJD in Power Since 2000
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which secured 112 seats 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.
Patnaik had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the swearing in ceremony. However, Modi is unlikely to attend the function, party sources said.
Apart from the chief minister’s elder sister and noted writer Gita Mehta, around 7,000 dignitaries including captains of industries and some Padma awardees will attend the swearing-in ceremony, sources said.
Prominent among the guests are eminent sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, noted musician Prafulla Kar, danseuse Priyamanda Mohanty and industrialists Kumarmangalam Birla, Naveen Jindal, they said.
The ruling BJD has also invited women grassroots leaders, whom Patnaik considered as the real “double engine” for growth of the state.
The BJP has bagged 23 and the Congress nine assembly seats in the state. Independent and CPI(M) have secured one seat each.