S N Patra elected as Odisha Assembly Speaker

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik greets six-time MLA of Biju Janata Dal Surya Narayan Patra after he was elected as the 22nd speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly, in Bhubaneswar. (PTI Photo)

Surya Narayan Patra, a former minister and one of the senior most leaders of the ruling Biju Janata Dal(BJD) was on Saturday unanimously elected as the new Speaker of the Odisha legislative assembly.

His name for the important post was proposed in the house by Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik.

A well known leader from southern Odisha, Patra has been an MLA for almost last thirty years. He was elected from Digapahandi Assembly constituency in Ganjam district in the recently held elections defeating BJP nominee and actress Pinky Pradhan by a comfortable margin.

Patra was also a member of Patnaik led last BJD cabinet heading an important portfolio – food supplies and consumer affairs besides handling the co-operation department. He had also served the BJD party organisation as a vice-president.

The senior leader was a close associate of Patnaik’s father and former chief minister the late Biju Patnaik and served as a junior minister when the latter was the state chief minister between 1990 and 1995 heading an undivided Janata Dal cabinet.

The BJD decided to favour Patra for the Speaker’s post though Pradip Amat, another senior BJD leader who was occupying the important chair in the last Assembly had been elected from his traditional constituency of Boudh in the recent polls.

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