Mohan Majhi to be the first BJP Chief Minister of Odisha

Majhi will have two deputy chief ministers in former state BJP president, minister and six-time MLA Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo and debutant legislator Pravati Parida.
LA from Keonjhar Sadar Mohan Majhi, who has been elected as the Chief Minister of Odisha, speaks to fellow legislators at the party office in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.
LA from Keonjhar Sadar Mohan Majhi, who has been elected as the Chief Minister of Odisha, speaks to fellow legislators at the party office in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.(Express Photo | Debdatta Mallick)

BHUBANESWAR: Ending all speculation, the BJP on Tuesday announced senior tribal leader and four-time MLA Mohan Majhi as its first Chief Minister of Odisha. Majhi will have two deputy chief ministers in former state BJP president, minister and six-time MLA Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo and debutant legislator Pravati Parida.

Majhi was elected as the leader of the BJP Legislature Party here at a meeting of the new MLAs attended by Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Bhupender Yadav as observers. Majhi’s name as the legislature party leader was proposed by senior leader Surama Padhi and seconded by Prithviraj Harichandan and Laxman Bag. Majhi will take oath as the chief minister of the state on Wednesday. The swearing-in ceremony will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The 53-year-old Majhi belongs to the Santhali community. He was the Opposition chief whip in the outgoing Assembly. Majhi, who comes from an RSS background, is well-known for his organizational skills and public service.

Majhi has represented the Keonjhar Assembly segment four times. Starting off his political career from the grassroots by being elected as sarpanch of Raikala from 1997 to 2000, he contested the Assembly polls for the first time in 2000 and was elected. He was re-elected from the same seat in 2004. Both the times, the BJP was in alliance with the BJD. He lost the polls in 2009 and 2014 after the BJD broke the alliance but was successful again in 2019.

The Maharaja of Patnagarh and MLA from the same constituency KV Singhdeo and former president of the Odisha unit of Mahila Morcha of the BJP Pravati Parida, a first-time MLA from Nimapara, have been announced as the deputy chief ministers.

Singhdeo has served as a cabinet minister in the BJD-BJP alliance government during 2000 and 2009 and was also the state president of the BJP.

By the choice of the three top posts, the BJP has made a conscious effort to provide representation to different sections: tribals, royals and women. It has also catered to regional considerations across north, western and coastal Odisha.

LA from Keonjhar Sadar Mohan Majhi, who has been elected as the Chief Minister of Odisha, speaks to fellow legislators at the party office in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.
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