Odisha ministers quit en masse, new ones to be sworn in tomorrow

Published on Jun 04, 2022 08:42 PM IST

The rejig has come at a time when the ruling Biju Janata Dal government has completed three years of its fifth term in office on May 29 and the party notched up its 5th by-poll win after the 2019 assembly election. The reshuffle is said to be a major exercise to strengthen and rejuvenate the party ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik had asked all his ministers to resign from their positions ahead of the cabinet rejig on Sunday. (PTI PHOTO.)
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik had asked all his ministers to resign from their positions ahead of the cabinet rejig on Sunday. (PTI PHOTO.)
ByDebabrata Mohanty

Bhubaneswar: All 20 ministers in Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet and Odisha assembly Speaker Surjya Patro resigned ahead of the first cabinet reshuffle during the fifth term of the Biju Janata Dal government.

People familiar with the development said that CM Patnaik had asked all his ministers to resign from their positions ahead of the cabinet rejig on Sunday. The swearing in will be held in Raj Bhawan at 11.45 am.

The rejig has come at a time when the ruling Biju Janata Dal government has completed three years of its fifth term in office on May 29 and the party notched up its 5th by-poll win after the 2019 assembly election. The reshuffle is said to be a major exercise to strengthen and rejuvenate the party ahead of the 2024 general elections.

There is speculation that several ministers who resigned will be asked to take up organisational work with an eye on 2024 general elections, and many new faces will be inducted. In April, a similar exercise had happened in Andhra Pradesh, where all ministers of the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government had quit.

For Naveen Patnaik, though, a complete overhaul of the ministry will not be new. In 2017, the chief minister had asked 10 of the 20 ministers in his Cabinet to resign and concentrate on party work. Five of the ministers who resigned were given district charge to prepare the party organisation for the 2019 elections. The beginning of preparations for 2024 elections by the state BJP has also put the ruling BJD on its toes. The saffron party has already begun an exercise to prepare a road map for the polls.

The cabinet reshuffle comes a few months after the party emerged victorious in the panchayat and civic body elections. Though the party has been consistently doing well in the polls, party strategists feel a new team should take over to add momentum to several welfare measures being undertaken by the government.

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