Bikram, Sudam & Sarada make a comeback in Naveen Patnaik Cabinet

Bikram, Sudam & Sarada make a comeback in Naveen Patnaik Cabinet

Bhubaneswar: Three senior BJD leaders – Bikram Keshari Arukha, Sudam Marndi, and Sarada Prasad Nayak – took oath as Cabinet ministers at the Convention Centre of Lok Seva Bhavan in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

While Bikram Keshari Arukha was assigned the Finance portfolio, Sudam Marandi and Sarada Nayak got School & Mass Education and Labour & Employees’ State Insurance departments respectively.

Governor Ganeshi Lal, who cut-short his visit to home state Haryana and arrived in Odisha capital on Sunday, administered the oath of office and secrecy at the swearing-in ceremony here in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Three vacancies were created after Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha along with two Ministers – Samir Ranjan Dash (School and Mass Education) and Srikanta Sahu (Labour and Employees’ State Insurance) – resigned on May 12 and the murder of Naba Kishore Das on January 29.

This is Naveen’s second Cabinet reshuffle in his fifth term as the chief minister of the state and probably the last before the 2024 twin polls.

With the induction of these former ministers, the BJD hopes to strengthen its base in Ganjam, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh. However, a decision is yet to be taken on the next speaker. Prafulla Samal, Debi Prasad Mishra, Amar Prasad Satpathy and Badri Narayan Patra are frontrunners for the post, sources said.

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