Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was Saturday elected unopposed the president of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Bhubaneswar for the fifth consecutive term, a senior party leader said.
"He was elected unopposed as nobody contested against him," party leader Damodar Rout said at a public function here, adding that the election was held at the party headquarters in the city.
Patnaik joined politics in 1996 after the death of his father Biju Patnaik and was elected as a Janata Dal member to the 11th Lok Sabha in the by-election from Aska parliamentary constituency.
In 1998, he formed the BJD, which was part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and got elected to the 12th and 13th Lok Sabha from the same constituency. He was union steel and mines minister 1998-99 and union mines and minerals minister 1999-2000 in the NDA governments.
The BJD came to power in Orissa in 2000 with the support of the BJP and Patnaik became the chief minister. He led the coalition government in the state for two terms from 2000 to 2009. This is his third consecutive term as chief minister of the state.
The BJD parted ways with the NDA in March last year over communal violence in the state and contested both the parliamentary and assembly elections alone. The party swept to power in the state on its own strength, bagging 103 of the state’s 147 assembly seats. It also emerged victorious in 14 of the state’s 21 Lok Sabha seats.