naveen: Be careful with the 2024 polls, Naveen renews the team, loses 11 minutes | News from Bhubaneswar

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BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Prime Minister Naveen Patnaik’s new 21-member council of ministers was sworn in on Sunday, a day after the CM won the resignation of all its ministers in the first such exercise in more than 22 years in the can.
Naveen retained nine of the 20 ministers on his dissolved council, while removing 11 and offering ministerial places to seven MLAs for the first time. He also recalled five leaders who had served as ministers in their previous terms but are considered politically active, restarting their team for the concurrent Lok Sabha and state assembly elections scheduled for 2024.
“The only way to lead the people is to serve the people,” Naveen tweeted, moments after the shakeup, with a collage of photos of her new team members.
The new ministers include 13 in cabinet rank and eight ministers of state, with an average age of 58, but all reporting to Naveen. Making a good caste balance, Naveen brought in two ST, two SC and nine OBC ministers, while taking seven ministers from Western Odisha, the region where the BJP had done comparatively better in the 2019 election.
This is also a region where Congress hopes to improve after it appointed Sarat Pattanayak from the same area as its Odisha unit chief.
Pushing for better representation of women, something Naveen often talks about, she has accommodated five women, including three in cabinet and two in the MoS ranks. Usually it used to be two before.
Two state ministers in the last council, Jagannath Saraka and Ashok Chandra Panda, have been promoted to cabinet rank. Saraka, a tribe, was first sworn in as a cabinet minister, which is seen as Naveen’s growing approach to courting the community.
Saraka was a minister of state who held the portfolio of ST&SC development, welfare of minorities and the backward classes. He has been assigned the same departments other than law, while Panda’s portfolio, science and technology, remains the same.
Six-time MLA Pramila Mallik, who had to resign as women and child development minister in 2011 over her alleged links to an alleged 700 crore scam on buying pulses for her midday meal, has returned to cabinet. after 11 years.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who continues to push for the early passage of the Women’s Reserve Bill to provide a 33% quota for women in Parliament and state assemblies, accommodated five women in his new Cabinet of 21 members, who were sworn in on Sunday.
The latest induction of five women MLAs at once is the highest in Naveen’s 20 years in power, with just one or two women lawmakers holding ministerial seats in the previous four terms.
The move to install five women as ministers is apparently aimed at further consolidating the party’s base among women, especially rural women. With the decision, the BJD is also projected to be a progressive-minded party and champion of gender equality, official sources said.
Three of the five women, Pramila Mallik, Usha Devi and Tukuni Sahu, have been appointed as cabinet ministers, while Rita Sahu and Basanti Hembram have been appointed as independent ministers of state.
The CM not only brought in female MLAs but also gave them major portfolios unlike in earlier periods when they used to get relatively less major departments.
Pramila, a scheduled caste face (SC), has been assigned the all-important revenue and disaster management department, while Usha has been appointed as the new minister for housing and urban development. Similarly, Tukuni would head important departments such as water resources and trade and transportation.
Previously, Droupadi Murmu (then a BJP MLA) was given the trade and transport department in Naveen’s first term during the BJD-BJP alliance government.
Although all three, Parmila, Usha and Tukuni, had been ministers before, they were all in charge of the women and child development department along with other minor portfolios.
Meanwhile, while Rita will head the handloom and textile department, Hembram, a first-time MLA, has been appointed minister for women and child development.
“The Prime Minister is a champion of the cause of women’s empowerment. He has always prioritized the betterment of women in all spheres of society. The induction of more women into the cabinet is just another example of his commitment to I express my gratitude and will keep the faith you have entrusted to me,” Pramila said.

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