Odisha to have two deputy chief ministers after 25 years

The last time such an arrangement was put in place was when Hemananda Biswal and Basanta Biswal were deputy chief ministers in the Congress government led by Janaki Ballav Patnaik.
 KV Singh Deo and Pravati Parida
KV Singh Deo and Pravati ParidaPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: The first BJP government, which will take oath on Wednesday, will have two deputy chief ministers. As announced by party observer and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, six-time MLA from Patnagarh KV Singh Deo and newly-elected member from Nimapara Pravati Parida will be the deputies of Chief Minister designate Mohan Charan Majhi.

After 25 years, Odisha will have two deputy chief ministers. The last time such an arrangement was put in place when Hemananda Biswal (1995-98) and Basanta Biswal (1995-99) were deputy chief ministers in the Congress government led by Janaki Ballav Patnaik.

A prominent BJP leader, Singh Deo (67) has been elected six times as a member of the legislative Assembly from Patnagarh. Born into the erstwhile royal family of the princely state of Patna, Singh Deo was cabinet minister of Industry and Public Enterprise from 2000 to 2004 and minister for Urban Development and Public Enterprise from 2004 to 2009 in the Naveen Patnaik government until the BJD snapped ties with BJP in 2009.

Singh Deo first unsuccessfully contested from Balangir Lok Sabha constituency on a BJP ticket in 1991. Later, he contested from Patnagarh Assembly seat in 1995 and was elected to the legislative Assembly for the first time. Thereafter he was repeatedly elected to the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Assembly.

After representing the seat for around 24 years in a row, he lost to BJD’s Saroj Meher in 2019. He was re-elected to the House in the recently-concluded elections. His stature as a leader grew with time and he became the party’s state unit president from 2013 to 2016. He was one of the six BJP candidates who managed to win the Assembly elections in 2009 polls that BJD swept after breaking its alliance with the saffron party. His wife Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo is Lok Sabha member from Balangir.

On the other hand, 57-year-old Parida’s meteoric rise in BJP reflects both her exceptional leadership qualities and the party’s commitment to fostering talent within its ranks. Hailing from a humble background, Parida was a practising lawyer in the Orissa High Court before joining active politics. She started her political career as block president of Niali. She won for the first time in 2024 after losing elections from Nimapara consecutively for three times. Wife of Shyam Sundar Nayak, a retired government employee, she was state women wing president of BJP from 2016 to 2020.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com