Patnaik re-elected as BJD chief

Patnaik re-elected as BJD chief

Patnaik re-elected as BJD chief

The ruling regional outfit in Odisha, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Sunday re-elected Naveen Patnaik as the leader of the party’s legislature group, paving the way for him to take over as the Chief Minister of the state for a fourth straight term.

At the meeting of the newly elected party legislators held at the BJD headquarters here, Patnaik’s name was proposed by the veteran party leader V Sugyani Kumari Deo, a ten time MLA, to which senior party leader and state health minister Damodar Rout also agreed. Patnaik was subsequently re-elected unopposed.

“I am very grateful to the party legislators for re-electing me as their leader. We all will work together for the development and welfare of the people of the state”, Patnaik who also heads the ruling regional outfit told reporters soon after the meeting was over.

It is not yet known when the new government will take over. However, BJD sources said, the swearing-in-ceremony of the chief minister and his council of ministers may take place on May 21.

The BJD had captured as many as 117 out of 147 seats in the state Assembly during the recently held elections, surpassing its 2009 Assembly polls tally of 103.

The legislature party meeting of the BJP which has also marginally improved its tally in the Assembly from six to ten would be meeting here soon to elect its new leader. Senior leader of the party, Prakash Javadeker would soon be arriving here from New Delhi to supervise the election as party‘s central observer, party sources said.

The newly­ elected BJP legislature party will have to choose a new leader as Jayanarayan Mishra who was holding the post in the last Assembly has been defeated in the recently held polls. The names which are doing the rounds for the important post include the BJP’s state unit president K V Singhdeo who has been re-elected from his traditional home Assembly constituency of Patnagarh in the western Odisha Bolangir district.

There has been no words yet from the Congress, the principal opposition party in the state, as to when the newly elected party legislators would meet to elect their leader. The Congress had a disastrous show during the recently concluded elections which saw the party’s strength in the Assembly coming down from 27 to 16.