Bhubaneswar: As Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Council of Ministers step into the state Secretariat following the oath-taking ceremony here today, let’s take a sneak peek of the 10 new faces in Naveen’s new team.
Naba Kishore Das: Once known as a big asset for Odisha Congress, businessman-turned-politician Naba Kishore Das has been inducted in the new Cabinet Ministers’ cadre and appointed as Health and Family Welfare Minister.
Das joined the ruling BJD on January 24 this year snapping his over a decade-long relationship with Congress. Das had defeated BJD’s heavyweight Kishore Mohanty twice on Congress ticket in Jharsuguda Constituency.
At a time when the position of Congress was miserable and the party faced huge poll debacle in Zilla Parishad elections in 2017, Das had achieved huge victory for the party. With this, the 57-year-old leader is expected to be of huge benefit for the ruling BJD as well as for the constituency he is representing.
Tukuni Sahu: Defeating Surendra Singh Bhoi of Congress in Titilagarh Assembly segment by a margin of over 19,000 vote, Tukuni Sahu became the MLA of the constituency for second time in a row. In 2014 elections, the woman leader had also won the seat on BJD ticket defeating Bhoi by a comfortable margin. The two-time BJD MLA has been appointed as a Cabinet Minster for the first time with the portfolio of Women and Child Development along with Mission Shakti.
Samir Ranjan Dash: The 57-year-old BJD legislator who had won the Nimapara Assembly seat in 2009 and 2014 elections, defeated his rival Pravati Parida of BJP in 2019 polls by a margin of over 30,000 votes. Winning the elections for a third time in a row with a huge margin apparently drew the attention of the BJD Supremo to appoint him as the Minister of State in the School and Mass Education Department.
Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi
Son of four-time Simulia MLA late Parsuram Panigrahi, Jyoti Prakash has been elected from the Simulia Assembly seat under Balasore Parliamentary Constituency for the second consecutive time. Earlier, he had won the assembly seat in 2014 elections defeating his nearest rival Padma Lochan Panda of Congress. He has been appointed as a Minister of State in the Tourism and Odia Language Literature and Culture Departments.
Dibya Shankar Mishra
CM Naveen appointed Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra as a Minister of State for three departments- Energy, Industries and MSME. He won 2019 elections with a margin of 83,789 votes defeating BJP’s Manoj Kumar Meher. In 2014 election, Mishra defeated Congress’ Gobardhan Dash by a margin of 17,728 votes.
A new face in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s 20-member team was elected for the second time to the 16th Odisha Assembly after five years gap. After pursuing B.Tech (Mechanical) and quitting his engineering profession, he had made his political debut by winning in 2009 elections by defeating Congress candidate Brundaban Naik from Telkoi Assembly Constituency.
Though Raghunandan Das is not a fresher in Odisha politics, but a new face in Naveen’s team in ministers of state (MoS). He was allocated the Skill Development and Technical Education portfolio. He had joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in April ahead of the polls deserting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was the BJD’s nominee from the Balikuda-Ersama and became victorious defeating opponent Congress’ Lalatendu Mohapatra with a huge margin of votes in recently held 2019 Assembly polls. Earlier, he had won the Assembly Elections from the same seat as the Independent candidate in 2014.
She made her maiden entry into politics as the MLA with a thumping win in the 2019 elections from the tribal-dominated Kotpad Assembly Constituency. Padmini is one of the women legislators, who were administered the oath as the MoS in Handloom, Textiles & Handicrafts department. With winning the polls against Congress’ Chandra Sekhar Majhi by 2631 votes, she was able to get the MoS berth in the ministry led by Patnaik.
An alumnus from IIT Kharagpur Tusharkanti Behera began his innings in politics with his induction into Naveen-led ministry as the MoS of Electronics and Information Technology, Sports and Youth Service. He won the polls against Congress’ Biswa Bhushan Das with a margin of 45,691 votes in the 2019 polls from Kakatpur Assembly Constituency.
Earlier, he was fielded by the BJP as the MLA candidate from Kakatpur for the 2019 polls. However, he joined the BJD quitting the saffron party.
He was assigned the ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward classes welfare portfolio in Team Naveen 5.0 following his entry into the 16th Odisha Assembly as the legislator. He won the 2019 Assembly polls from Bisam Cuttack in Rayagada district defeating Congress’ Nilamadhaba Hikaka. Earlier, he was elected to the Assembly in 2014 polls.