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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

In Naveen Patnaik’s new team, every second minister is first-time lawmaker

So far only two chief ministers: Jyoti Basu of West Bengal and Pawan Chamling of Sikkim have been at the helm for five terms.

india Updated: May 29, 2019 13:13 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Naveen Patnaik took oath as Odisha chief minister for the fifth term on Wednesday.
Naveen Patnaik took oath as Odisha chief minister for the fifth term on Wednesday. (ANI / Twitter )

Naveen Patnaik took oath as the chief minister of Odisha on Wednesday morning at a public function in Bhubaneswar. This is Patnaik’s fifth consecutive term as CM. So far only two chief ministers in India: Jyoti Basu of West Bengal and Pawan Chamling of Sikkim have been chief ministers for five terms.

Minutes later, Patnaik tweeted accepting the responsibility. “It’s a nostalgic and personal journey for me to reminiscence the past 19 years. Today while I take oath of office for the 5th term, I humbly accept the responsibility that comes with the faith my 4.5 crore family members have reposed on me, yet again,” he tweeted.

Watch | Naveen Patnaik takes oath as Odisha CM for fifth consecutive term 

More than 10,000 people attended the swearing-in ceremony despite mercury touching 40 degree Celsius. Naveen Patnaik’s elder brother Prem Patnaik and sister Gita Mehta, a celebrated writer, attended the swearing-in ceremony.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Patnaik on taking oath. In a tweet, he assured the Odisha CM of Centre’s ‘complete cooperation.

After Naveen Patnaik, 20 ministers also took oath; almost half of them are first-time ministers. Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal on Tuesday evening had appointed 11 cabinet ministers and 9 ministers of state on the recommendation of Patnaik.

Despite several political analysts predicting a hung assembly due to huge anti-incumbency wave and a resurgent BJP, Patnaik’s BJD won 112 seats in the Assembly, just 5 less than what it won in 2014 polls.

Also Read | In ‘special message’ to Delhi, Naveen Patnaik invites PM Modi for oath event

The 11 cabinet ministers who were sworn in along with Patnaik are all old faces except Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das and Titlagarh MLA Tukuni Sahu. Among the nine ministers of State, all are new faces except Ashok Panda. The strength of the council of ministers is now 21, including the chief minister, which is within 15 % of the strength of the assembly as prescribed by Sarkaria Commission.

The oath taking ceremony was attended by eminent sculptor Raghunath Mahapatra, vocalist Prafulla Kar, Odissi danseuse Priyambada Mohanty, eminent cardiologist Dr Ramakant Panda, Dr TP Das, gastroenterologist Dr Subrat Acharya, industrialists Kumaramangalam Birla, Naveen Jindal, Sanjeev Puri of ITC, Tata Steel’s MD TV Narednran, Tech Mahindra MD CP Gurnani, Mindtree president KK Natrajan, Puneet Dalmia of OCL, Sangeeta Reddy of Apollo Hospitals Group and P R Venkatarama Rajha of Ramco Group.

First Published: May 29, 2019 07:36 IST

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