Naveen Patnaik took oath as Odisha Chief Minister for fifth term in a function at the Exhibition Ground in Bhubaneswar today. 11 Cabinet Ministers and nine Ministers of State also took oath at the ceremony. The strength of the council of ministers in Odisha at 21, including the chief minister, is less than 15 per cent of the strength of the assembly as prescribed by the Sarkaria Commission.
The 11 cabinet ministers are: Ranendra Pratap Swain, Bikram Keshari Arukha, Prafulla Mallick, Niranjan Pujari, Padmanabh Behera, Pratap Jena, Arun Kumar Sahoo, Sudam Marandi, Sushant Singh, Naba Kishore Das, and Tukuni Sahu.
The nine Ministers of State are: Ashok Chandra Panda, Sameer Ranjan Dash, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Dibya Shankar Mishra, Premananda Nayak, Raghunandan Das, Padmini Dian (Woman), Tusharkanti Behera and Jagannath Saraka.
Patnaik's new ministry will have 10 new faces: Telkoi MLA Premaanda Nayak, Titlagarh MLA Tukuni Sahu (Woman), Nimapara MLA Sameer Das, Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das, Kotpad MLA Padmini Dian (Woman), Balikuda-Erasama MLA Raghunandan Das, Junagarh MLA Dibyashankar Mishra, Bissam Cuttack MLA Jagannath Saraka, Simulia MLA Jyotiprakash Panigarhi, and Kakatpur MLA Tusharkanti Behera.
The Biju Janata Dal, which secured 112 seat in the 147-member Odisha Assembly in the recently concluded elections, held along with Lok Sabha polls, has been in power in the state since 2000. Though Patnaik in earlier four occasions (2000, 2004, 2009 and 2014) was sworn in at the Raj Bhavan, this is for the first time that he has taken oath in a grand manner. Patnaik had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the swearing in ceremony. However, Modi didn’t attend the function.
Apart from the chief minister's elder sister and noted writer Gita Mehta, around 7,000 dignitaries including captains of industries and some Padma awardees also attended the swearing-in ceremony, sources said.
Prominent among the guests are eminent sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, noted musician Prafulla Kar, danseuse Priyamanda Mohanty and industrialists Kumarmangalam Birla, Naveen Jindal, they said.
The ruling BJD has also invited women grassroots leaders, whom Patnaik considered as the real "double engine" for growth of the state.
The BJP has bagged 23 and the Congress nine assembly seats in the state. Independent and CPI(M) have secured one seat each.