Portfolio suspense ends, Odisha CM keeps home, finance

The chief minister has kept weighty departments like home, general administration and public grievance, finance, water resources, planning and convergence, information and public relations.
Odisha CM Mohan Charan Majhi
Odisha CM Mohan Charan MajhiPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: The long wait for distribution of portfolios among the newly-formed council of ministers led by Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi came to an end on Saturday with Governor Raghubar Das assigning departments to 16 ministers on advise of the CM.

The chief minister has kept weighty departments like Home, General Administration and Public Grievance, Finance, Water Resources, Planning and Convergence, Information and Public Relation and departments not specifically assigned to other ministers. This is perhaps for the first time, a chief minister has preferred to keep Information and Public Relation department, an important wing of the government, with him.

Deputy chief minister Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo has been given two important portfolios of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment and Power. Singh Deo will have the onerous task of fulfilling the party’s promise of providing a support price of Rs 3,100 per quintal of paddy to the farmers and meeting the rapidly increasing power demands of the state. As expected deputy chief minister Pravati Parida has got Women and Child Development, Mission Shakti and Tourism.

Of the eight ministers in cabinet rank, senior leader and Brajrajnagar MLA Suresh Pujari has the Revenue and Disaster Management department. Kuchinda MLA Rabi Narayan Naik has emerged a favourite of the party as he was given two crucial departments like Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Supply. Naik will be responsible for ensuring pipe water supply to all households of the state, which is lagging behind in all-India ranking.

Loisinga MLA Mukesh Mahaling has been assigned the vital Health and Family Welfare, Parliamentary Affairs and Electronic and Information Technology departments. The much sought-after Housing and Urban Development department has gone to Morada MLA Krushna Chandra Mohapatra along with Public Enterprise.

Tribal leader and MLA from Umerkote, Nityananda Gond has got three departments of School and Mass Education, Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare, and Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department has gone to Dhenkanal MLA Krushna Chandra Patra while Prithiviraj Harichandan, a first-time MLA from Chilika, has been assigned three powerful departments like Law, Works and Excise. Steel and Mines has gone to Bibhuti Bhusan Jena, the Gopalpur MLA, along with Commerce and Transport.

Of the five ministers of state with independent charge, Suryabanshi Suraj, the youngest member of the council of ministers, has been awarded a heavy department like Higher Education along with Sports and Youth Services, and Odia Language, Literature and Culture. Jashipur MLA Ganesh Ram Singkhuntia is the new minister for Forest, Environment and Climate Change and Labour and Employees State Insurance.

Paradip MLA Sampad Chandra Swain has been rewarded with Industries and Skill Development and Technical Education, considered to be prestigious departments.

Sukinda MLA Pradeep Bal Samant has got cooperation and handlooms, textiles, and handicrafts, while Fisheries and Animal Resources Development and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises have gone to Gokulananda Mallik.Ministers of State

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