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Naveen Patnaik govt to have 21 ministers, 10 new faces


Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal Tuesday appointed 11 Cabinet ministers and nine Ministers of State on the recommendations of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, a communication from the Raj Bhavan said.
The ministers and the chief minister will be administered the oath of the office Wednesday at 10.30 am in a function at the Exhibition Ground here.
The strength of the council of ministers in Odisha at 21, including the chief minister, is less than 15 per cent of the strength of the assembly as prescribed by the Sarkaria Commission.
Patnaik's new ministry will have 10 new faces: 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.
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 (woman).
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.
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.

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 12:25 AM IST

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