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Naveen Patnaik's call for rejig takes a toll on BJD morale

Reorganisation sees exit of 10 incumbent ministers, some efficient leaders others, non-performers

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

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Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo and chief minister struck a subtle balancing act between administration and party organisation by initiating a reshuffle in his ministerial team.
The long-awaited reorganisation in the Council was marked by the exit of 10 incumbent ministers -- a mix of efficient leaders and non-performers, at Patnaik's behest. Ministers who resigned to make way for other compatriots are Pradip Amat (finance), Pranab Prakash Das (electronics & IT), Sanjay Dasburma (food supplies & consumer welfare), Pradeep Panigrahi (higher education), Arun Sahoo (law), Pusphpendra Singhdeo (housing & urban development), Sudam Marandi (sports), Debi Prasad Mishra (industries), Lal Bihari Himirika (tribal development) and Jogendra Behera (MSMEs).

All departing ministers had the common refrain -- they abdicated ministerial posts in the larger interest of the party and would galvanise efforts to strengthen the at grassroots.
Patnaik’s reconstituted Council is likely to be made up by a string of his loyal veterans and a dash of young blood. The buzz is around familiar names like Niranjan Pujari (who resigned from the post of assembly speaker), party vice president and senior leader Surya Narayan Patro, chief whip Ananta Das, Sashi Bhushan Behera and former ministers Prafulla Samal, Maheshawar Mohanty and  Pratap Jena. The chieftain might also consider young legislators like Sushanta Singh and Bijay Kumar Nayak for ministerial assignments. The swearing in ceremony is scheduled for Sunday.
Patnaik thanked his ministerial colleagues who voluntarily resigned to beef up the party’s organisational base.
"I thank all ministers who tendered their resignation voluntarily to work for the party”, the beaming chief minister told reporters.
Many observers feel the countdown to the 2019 electoral battle in has begun with Patnaik opting for a change to spruce up the party cadre and take on a rampaging