BHUBANESWAR: Naveen Patnaik assumed office as the Chief Minister of Odisha for a record fifth consecutive term on Wednesday after being sworn in along with his 20 minister team here.
Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a grand ceremony attended by top industrialists from across the country and other eminent personalities. Soon after the swearing in, Naveen went to State Secretariat and assumed his fifth innings as CM.
The 11 members sworn in as Cabinet ministers include Prafulla Mallik, Bikram Keshari Arukha, Niranjan Pujari, Tukuni Sahu, Ranendra Pratap Swain, Arun Kumar Sahu, Pratap Jena, Sudam Marndi, Padmanabha Behera, Sushanta Singh and Naba Kishore Das. The ministers of state are, Padmini Dian, Ashok Panda, Sameer Ranjan Dash, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Dibya Shankar Mishra, Premananda Nayak, Raghunanda Dash, Tushar Kanti Behera and Jagannath Saraka.
The ministry has ten new faces. Two of the new faces, Tukuni Sahu and Naba Kishore Das got Cabinet rank straight away.
The swearing-in ceremony, attended by more than 5000 people including members of Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) from across the State, was held outside the Raj Bhavan for the first time at the Exhibition Ground here.
Naveen dropped several members from the earlier ministry in his new team while 13 districts did not get any representation. Those who were dropped are, Sashi Bhusan Behera, Prafulla Samal, Badri Narayan Patra, Usha Devi, Anant Das, Snehangini Chhuria, Chandra Sarathi Behera and Nrusingha Charan Sahu.
Speaker of the outgoing assembly Pradip Kumar Amat also did not get a place in the new ministry. The districts which did not get any representation in the new ministry are Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Malkangiri, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Angul, Boudh, Kandhamal, Jajpur and Deogarh.
Several old hands are also missing from the ministry. Surjya Narayan Patro who won assembly polls for the seventh consecutive time will be the Speaker of the new ministry while Maheswar Mohanty, revenue and disaster management minister in the previous cabinet, was defeated from the Puri assembly seat.
While Ramesh Chandra Majhi has been elected from the Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat, Bijoyshree Routray, forest and environment minister in the erstwhile cabinet, had opted out from contesting election this time.
Top industrialists, Kumara Mangalam Birla, Sanjeev Puri, Punit Dalmia, Sangeetha Reddy and CP Gurnani attended the swearing in ceremony and greeted the Chief Minister at the Secretariat later.
Elder brother and sister of the Chief Minister Prem Patnaik and Geeta Mehta, Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Prabhu Chawla also attended the oath taking ceremony.
President of India Ramnath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and national vice-president of BJP Baijayant Panda were among others who greeted Naveen on assumption of office for the fifth consecutive term.