Odisha CM inducts 3 new Cabinet Ministers

Bhubaneswar:  Effecting a minor reshuffle, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday inducted three new Ministers in his Cabinet.

Senior BJD MLAs Bikram Keshari Arukha, Sudam Marndi and Sarada Prasad Nayak took oath as Cabinet Ministers here at a swearing in ceremony held at State Convention Centre in Lok Seva Bhawan.

Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers in presence of the Chief Minister.

Several ministers, MPs, MLAs, senior government officials were present at the swearing in ceremony.

Arukha, Marndi and Nayak had earlier served as ministers under Patnaik government.

Arukha held several positions since 2008, including government chief whip, Speaker and minister of Rural Development, Law, Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Parliamentary Affairs, Information & Public Relations, Cooperation and Public Enterprises.

Similarly, Marndi had earlier served as Minister of State for Sports & Youth Services, ST & SC Development (tribal welfare) and Revenue & Disaster Management. This time, Marndi has been elevated to cabinet rank.

Nayak served as MoS for Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Housing & Urban Development and Excise in between 2009 to 2012.

Notably, Speaker B.K. Arukha along with two controversial ministers Samir Ranjan Dash (School and Mass Education) and Srikanta Sahu (Labour and Employees’ State Insurance) had resigned from their positions on May 12.

Besides, former Health Minister Naba Kishore Das was murdered on January 29 this year, creating another vacancy in the cabinet.

The Odisha Council of Ministers can have 22 Ministers including the Chief Minister. With the induction of three new ministers, the vacancy in the cabinet filled up.

According to sources, the Chief Minister may also make changes in the portfolios of some ministers soon.

However, who will be the next Speaker of the State Assembly has not yet been cleared. The probable names for Speaker’s posts making the rounds are: Prafulla Samal, Debi Prasad Mishra, Amar Prasad Satpathy, Snehangini Chhuria and Badri Narayan Patra.

Naveen Patnaik had effected a complete reshuffle of his Cabinet last time in June 2022. So, this was the second reshuffle of his Cabinet in this term.


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