Bhubaneswar: Hours before the
much-awaited ministry reshuffle in Orissa, Chief Minister
Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said that five new members would be
inducted into his two-year-old Council of Ministers.
"Five new ministers will be inducted today," Patnaik
told reporters after receiving the resignation of three
ministers as part of the exercise for Cabinet reshuffle.
While Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout and Sports
Ministers Prabin Kumar Bhanj Deo had resigned yesterday, ST
and SC Development Minister Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha put in
his papers today.
Patnaik, however, did not reveal names of the five
persons who are going to find a place in the ministry.
The ruling BJD government presently has 19 ministers
including the chief minister while two of the posts are
vacant. The fresh vacancy was created in February after the
then Women and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallik
resigned in the wake of the dal scam.
Sources, however, said three senior MLAs from coastal
region, one each from southern and western regions could be
inducted into the ministry.
Those likely to be inducted include former Speaker
Maheswar Mohanty, Pradip Maharathy (both from Puri district)
and Usha Devi from Ganjam district.
The Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Lal Behari Himirika
from southern region, was also slated to be given a berth in
The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to held at Raj
Bhavan at 4.00 pm, they said.