10 Odisha ministers resign, reshuffle on Sunday

Finance Minister who is likely to resign from his post on Saturday, is tipped to become the Speaker.

PTI| Last Updated: May 06, 2017, 21:36 PM IST

Bhubaneswar:  In what could be termed the biggest reshuffle in the last 17 years of the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in Odisha, as many as 10 ministers resigned on Saturday while 11 ministers will be inducted in the cabinet on Sunday.

The swearing-in ceremony would be held on Sunday at Raj Bhavan here and 11 new ministers would take the oath of office, sources said.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) lawmakers Surya Narayan Patro, Niranjan Pujari, Maheswar Mohanty, Bijay Nayak, Pratap Jena, Sushant Singh, Sashi Bhusan Behera, Prafulla Samal, Nrusingha Charan Sahu, Chandra Sarathi Behera and Ananta Das are likely to be inducted in the council of ministers, sources said.

Earlier, 10 ministers tendered their resignation to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. A day before, Assembly Speaker Niranjan Pujari had resigned from the post. He is likely to get a ministerial berth in the cabinet.

Finance Minister Pradip Amat, who resigned along with nine other ministers, is likely to be the Speaker of the state assembly, sources said.

Amat was the Speaker in the third term of the BJD government.

The nine other ministers who put in their papers are Sanjay Dasburma, Pranab Prakash Das, Arun Sahoo, Pradeep Panigrahi, Pushpendra Singhdeo, Lal Bihari Himirika, Sudam Marndi, Jogendra Behera and Debi Prasad Mishra.

Patnaik expressed the hope that the ministry reshuffle will contribute to the growth and development of the people of Odisha besides strengthening the party.

"I am grateful to a number of ministers who have resigned voluntarily to work for the party. All of us in the party are very grateful to them," said Patnaik.

He said the revamp would help the ruling BJD serve the people better.