BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal supremo Naveen Patnaik was on Wednesday re-elected as president of the regional outfit for the eighth consecutive term. His re-election was only a formality since Naveen was the only leader to file nomination papers for the post on February 23.
After Returning Officer Pratap Keshari Deb announced his name, Naveen thanked the people of Odisha and members of his party for their continuous support. “In the words of Biju Babu, you must not think of ruling the people but always be their servant,” he said after the formal announcement.
Addressing the State Council meeting of the party later, Naveen said the BJD fights elections to win the love of people and serve them. “The regional party does not fight elections to win or lose; rather it fights to win the love of people and serve them,” he said. Naveen was first elected as president of BJD in 1997 when the regional outfit was floated after the demise of his legendary father. Organisational elections in BJD are held every three years.
He has been serving as Chief Minister of the State since 2000 which makes him one of the longest-serving CMs in the entire country.
Naveen re-elected BJD boss
After his re-election, the party also released the 80-member State Executive which included 15 ministers and eight women leaders. Of the 355 State council members, 80 were elected as State Executive members. Five Ministers did not find a place in the top body of the BJD.
“All 80 members of the State Council had earlier filed their nominations to get into the State Executive body. They were also elected unopposed like the president,” Deb said.
The organisational polls of BJD was held in five phases. In the first three phases, presidents and committee members of gram panchayats and wards in urban areas, presidents of block committees and members and presidents and committee members in urban area were elected.
Presidents of district committees and members besides the State Committee were elected in the next two phases.
Last week, BJD declared the list of 33 presidents of its organisational districts. While 14 old hands were elected as district presidents, new faces were given charge in 19 districts.