In the second reshuffle in three years, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday changed portfolios of all the ministers except one while expanding the ministry.
The Chief Minister retained the portfolios of Home, General Administration, Works and Water Resources while giving the prestigious Finance portfolio to Prasanna Acharya after the removal of Prafulla Ghadei. Acharya was also given Public Enterprises Department earlier held by Ghadei. The unceremonious exit of Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadei has taken everyone by surprise. Ghadei, who started his political career in 1967, had been holding the Finance portfolio since 2004.
Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Minister Lal Bihari Himirika was the only minister who remained unaffected.
The Ministers who were partially affected by the rejig are Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patro, Higher Education Minister Badrinarayan Patra and Rural Development Minister Bikram Arukh. Patro was divested of his additional charge of Information and Public Relations, while Arukh of Law and Badri of Sports and Youth Affairs.
Damodar Rout, who was dropped in May 2011 as Agriculture minister, got Health and Family Welfare. He was also given additional charge of the newly created Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Department. Debi Prasad Mishra, who earlier held Forest and Environment portfolio, was given Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development while Panchayati Raj went to Kalpataru Das.
Maheswar Mohanty was shifted from Panchayati Raj to Tourism and Culture with additional charge of Planning and Coordination Department. Niranjan Pujari was shifted from Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department to Industries with additional charge of Excise.
Senior BJD member Bijayshree Routray took oath as a Cabinet Minister for Forest and Environment, Labour and Employees State Insurance. Raghunath Mohanty who was holding key departments like Steel and Mines, Industries and Parliamentary Affairs moved to Housing and Urban Development Department along with Law and Information Technology. The Housing and Urban Development Department was with the Chief Minister after Sarada Nayak was shunted out after the coup bid to oust Naveen.
The Steel and Mines Department went to Rajanikant Singh who took oath as Minister of State. Textile and Handloom, Science and Technology Minister Usha Devi was shifted to the more important Women and Child Development Department, earlier held by Anjali Behera before she was dropped from the Ministry in June.
Government Deputy Chief whip Arun Kumar Sahu took oath as a Minister of State for the first time and was given the crucial Energy Department along with Information and Public Relations held by Patro.
Pratap Keshari Deb was given Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, Employment and Technical Education & Training. Former minister Rabi Narayan Nanda, who was earlier dropped from the ministry during Naveen’s previous tenure, returned with School and Mass Education Department.
Sarojini Hembram, a woman from the tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district, got Textile, Handloom and Handicrafts while another new entrant Subrat Tarai was given Commerce and Transport.
Governor M C Bhandare administered the oath of office and secrecy to the nine new ministers at a swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan.
Prabhat Tripathy and Sanjay Dasburma are expected to be made chief whip and deputy chief whip respectively, sources said.
There were five vacancies in the ministry. While A U Singh Deo and Pradeep Maharathy had resigned earlier this year over liquor tragedy and Pipili rape and murder case respectively, three ministers - Anjali Behera, Sarada P Nayak and Sanjeev Sahoo - were sacked in the aftermath of the coup bid on May 29.