Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today reshuffled his cabinet by inducting 10 fresh faces and elevating two ministers of state to cabinet rank.
Ten Odisha ministers had resigned yesterday to pave the way for the Chief Minister to revamp his cabinet. This is the first time that Patnaik has reshuffled his three-year-old ministry.
The ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor S C Jamir in presence of the chief minister and other senior ministers at Raj Bhavan.
While 10 new ministers were inducted in the council of ministers, two ministers of state - Prafulla Mallick and Ramesh Chandra Majhi - were elevated to cabinet rank.
Among the new faces, S N Patro, Niranjan Pujari, Pratap Jena, Maheswar Mohanty, Sashi Bhusan Behera and Prafulla Samal are cabinet ministers while Nrushingha Sahu, Anant Das, Chandra Sarathi Behera and Sushant Singh are ministers of state (MoS).
Sushant Singh, Nrushingha Sahu, Anant Das and Chandra Sarathi Behera and Sashi Bhusan Behera are first-time ministers.
"Six new cabinet ministers and four MoS were sworn in today. Besides, two MoS were elevated to the rank of cabinet ministers," Patnaik told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony.
In the first reshuffle effected in his government since 2014, the chief minister has brought back experienced leaders like S N Patro, Prafulla Samal, Maheswar Mohanty, Pratap Jena Niranjan Pujari into the ministry.
Ten ministers - Pradip Kumar Amat, Debi Prasad Mishra, Lal Behari Himirika, Jogendra Behera, Pushpendra Singhdeo, Arun Kumar Sahoo, Sanjay Dasburma, Sudam Marndi, Pranab Prakash Das and Pradeep Panigrahi - had resigned yesterday paving way for the reshuffle.
Pradip Kumar Amat, who had yesterday resigned as Finance and Health Minister is tipped to be appointed as the Speaker of the Odisha Assembly. Niranjan Pujari, who resigned as speaker on April 5, took oath as the cabinet minister.