Denial of ministerial berth sparks resentment in Angul

There was strong anticipation that one of the BJP representatives would be included in the cabinet.
For the last 10 years, the BJD denied ministerial representation to Angul
For the last 10 years, the BJD denied ministerial representation to AngulPhoto | Express Illustration

ANGUL: Despite a decade-long wait, Angul district continues to be unrepresented in the council of ministers, headed by Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, that took oath of office on Wednesday. This has led to widespread dissatisfaction among the residents, who had high hopes following the recent elections.

In the latest Assembly elections, the BJP secured three out of five Assembly seats in Angul, while the remaining two went to the BJD. The BJP winners include Pratap Pradhan from Angul, Agasti Behera from Chhendipada, and Ashok Mohanty from Pallahara.

Given the district’s strong industrial presence, housing several coal mines and power plants like Nalco, NTPC, JSPL, and JITPL, there was strong anticipation that one of the BJP representatives would be included in the cabinet.

Historically, during the BJD rule, Angul was represented by veteran politicians such as Adwait Prasad Singh, Nagendra Pradhan, Sanjeeb Sahoo, and Rajanikanta Singh. The last minister from the district was Rajanikanta Singh, who served in Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet in 2012. However, since 2014, Angul has remained unrepresented in the state cabinet, first under the BJD and now under the BJP.

Local resident Sarat Kumar expressed his frustration, stating, “Angul is an important district and deserved a ministerial post. Both the BJD and now the BJP have failed to recognise this, causing discontentment among the people.”

State PCC spokesperson Jagadananda Pradhan echoed similar sentiments, accusing both the BJD and BJP of neglecting Angul. “For the last 10 years, the BJD denied ministerial representation to Angul, and now the BJP has done the same despite the district’s support in the recent elections. Only Congress can safeguard the interests of Angul people,” he asserted.

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