CM Naveen Patnaik to chair cabinet reshuffle tomorrow

Nine Odisha ministers on Saturday tendered their resignation paving the way for Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to reshuffle the cabinet.

Sanjay Dasburma, Pranab Prakash Das, Arun Sahoo, Pradeep Panigrahi, Pushpendra Singhdeo, Lal Bihari Himirika, Sudam Marndi, Jogendra Behera and Debi Prasad Mishra resigned today.

Mr Patnaik will leave for Delhi on Sunday to attend the meeting of chief ministers of Naxal-affected states on Monday. Amat is likely to take over as the new Assembly apeaker, The Indian Express report added.

Sources said some ministers would be asked to devote themselves to strengthening the organisation as the BJP is set to give a tough fight to the ruling party, which has been in power for 17 years. On Friday, Odisha Assembly Speaker Niranjan Pujari had resigned from his post over his possible inclusion in the ministry tomorrow.

The reshuffle exercise also saw Naveen dealing with BJP's emergence in Western Odisha districts as well as Mayurbhanj which have been given adequate representation while appointing the new ministers. Both Patro and Mohanty are experienced and senior leaders who have handled different ministries during their long careers. Others to be inducted in the ministry include old hands like Surya Narayan Patro and Maheswar Mohanty.

The chief minister also brought back former minister and Mahanga MLA Pratap Jena into his team.

"I am grateful to those ministers who have resigned voluntarily to work for the party", Patnaik told reporters in Bhubaneswar.

  • Joanne Flowers