Odisha Cabinet: Portfolios not announced even after two days

Chief Minister Majhi said allocation of portfolios have been completed and will be announced soon.
Prime minister Modi with CM Mohan Majhi and his team after the oath taking ceremony in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday
Prime minister Modi with CM Mohan Majhi and his team after the oath taking ceremony in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday

BHUBANESWAR: Delay in portfolio allocation even after two days of the Mohan Majhi cabinet taking oath seems to have left the ministers in nervous anticipation.

The portfolios were expected to be announced on Thursday, but it did not happen. Earlier on Friday, cabinet minister Prithiviraj Harichandan informed mediapersons that the distribution has already been done and announcement of the list from the Governor’s house was likely to be made anytime. The list was still not released till late in the night.

Chief Minister Majhi, however, said allocation of portfolios have been completed and will be announced soon. Some state BJP leaders who are in the know of things said that the allocation of portfolios has already been made and clearance from the central leadership is being awaited.

The delay, meanwhile, has started to get tongues wagging. Sources said all the ministers except Deputy Chief Minister KV Singh Deo do not have any experience in administrative matters and the leadership is taking into account all aspects before making the announcement.

Singh Deo was a cabinet minister for nine years in the BJD-BJP alliance government under the leadership of Naveen Patnaik from 2000 to 2009. He has handled portfolios like industries, urban development and public enterprises during the period. But all other ministers are new to their job and even eight out of them are first-time MLAs.

Sources said, the party leadership is moving cautiously as the government will have to place the first full-fledged budget of the BJP government in July. The finance portfolio has assumed importance for this reason. Who among the senior cabinet members including Singh Deo, the other Deputy Chief Minister Pravati Parida or Suresh Pujari will be given the responsibility remains to be seen.

Sources added, as usual, home and general administration portfolios are likely to remain with the chief minister. But other important portfolios like water resources, rural development, panchayati raj, forest, women and child development will have to be distributed among the ministers without causing any heartburn and rancour.

The chief minister and the party leadership are taking all these aspects into consideration before making the announcement as the first BJP government does not want to have any murmurs of discontentment before it makes a start, they added.

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