Odisha speaker resigns amid speculation of ministry reshuffle

Odisha Assembly speaker Niranjan Pujari on Friday resigned from his position giving rise to speculation that several ministers may resign apparently to pave the way for the reshuffle.

IANS| Last Updated: May 05, 2017, 22:48 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Amid talks of a ministry reshuffle, Odisha Assembly speaker Niranjan Pujari on Friday resigned from his position giving rise to speculation that several ministers may resign apparently to pave the way for the reshuffle.

Pujari tendered his resignation to Deputy Speaker Sananda Marandi.

"I have resigned to devote more time for the people of my constituency," Pujari told reporters.

It is expected that he could be inducted into the cabinet.

The countdown for the reshuffle started after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said a reshuffle would be effected very shortly.

"Be patient. You will know about this very shortly," Patnaik told mediapersons here.

Ministers are likely to be dropped based on the performance of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the panchayat polls in their areas, said sources.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made inroads into BJD bastions during the panchayat polls, coming second in the fray.

Even though the Chief Minister is yet to announce the date for the ministry reshuffle, it is expected that it would be effected within a day or two.

Governor S C Jamir, who has been on a vacation, would land in Bhubaneswar on Saturday while the Chief Minister would leave for New Delhi on Sunday to attend an anti-Naxal meeting to be held there on Monday.

Sources said some ministers would be asked to devote themselves to strengthening the organisation as the BJP is set to give a tough fight to the ruling party, which has been in power for 17 years.