Patnaik distributes portfolios to 3 newly-inducted ministers
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday allocated departments to newly-inducted ministers Bikram Keshari Arukha, Sudam Marndi and Sarada Prasad Nayak.
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday allocated departments to newly-inducted ministers Bikram Keshari Arukha, Sudam Marndi and Sarada Prasad Nayak.
Important Finance department has been allotted to Arukha while the School & Mass Education department was given to Marndi. Sarada Nayak is the new Labour & Employees’ State Insurance Minister.
Arukha has been representing the Bhanjanagar Assembly constituency in Patnaik’s home district Ganjam since 1995 and he was holding several positions since 2008. He was the Assembly Speaker till his resignation from the post on May 12.
The exit of Srikanta Sahu as Labour Minister is believed to have paved the way for Arukha’s return to the Cabinet. Sahu, the MLA from Polasara in Ganjam district, resigned from the Cabinet on May 12 after a woman BJD worker accused him of sexual harassment.
Marndi, the MLA from Bangiriposi in Mayurbhanj district, was holding Sports & Youth Services and ST & SC Development (tribal welfare) departments during 2014 to 2017 and again made Revenue & Disaster Management minister during 2019 to 2022.
With Karanjia MLA Basanti Hembram already accommodated in the Cabinet, Mayurbhanj district will now have two ministers in the Cabinet.
Similarly, Rourkela MLA Nayak was also re-inducted in the Cabinet and it seems to be a move to reward him for his work to ensure landslide victory in the Jharsuguda bypoll.
Besides, the induction of Nayak, a three-time MLA is also seen as an attempt to counter the BJP, which has emerged stronger in Sundargarh in the recent years.
Notably, Nayak had served as MoS for Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Housing & Urban Development and Excise in between 2009 to 2012 under the chief ministership of Naveen Patnaik.