Odisha parties hail two Cabinet posts for state

Odisha parties hail two Cabinet posts for state

Narendra Modi’s decision to give two ministerial berths to Odisha in the newly formed BJP-led NDA government at the Centre though the party had won only one out of 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state has been welcomed and appreciated by one and all including the three major political parties.

However, it did not come as a big surprise to anybody as both the newly appointed ministers—Joel Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan—were tipped to be included in the government. Oram who has been given a cabinet berth was the only BJP winner in the recently held Lok Sabha polls in the state.

He was elected from tribal dominated Sundergarh seat after a tough battle with BJD nominee and former hockey star Dilip Tirkey. Pradhan is a sitting Rajya Sabha member from Bihar.

“The BJP has always given importance to Odisha and the prime minister’s decision is an example of that. Pradhan was the first leader from Odisha who had been given a Rajya Sabha nomination from another state. And it was BJP which had made that possible,” said Sajjan Sharma, the spokesperson of the BJP’s state unit.

The ruling BJD has welcomed the decision and hoped that the two ministers will cooperate with the state government for the development of the state. “We whole heartedly welcome the prime minister’s decision.

But we hope that the new government at the Centre, particularly the two Union ministers will cooperate with the state government for the developmental activities in the state unlike the previous UPA regime which had constantly worked against the interests of Odisha,” said senior BJD leader and party’s newly elected chief whip in the state Assembly, Ananta Das.

The development has turned out to be a major embarrassment of the state Congress leaders because there was only one minister from Odisha at the Centre — that too in the rank of a minister state — in the previous UPA dispensation though the Congress had won six seats from the state.

However, the party has welcomed the appointment of the two ministers.

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