In a bid to control to control Bharatiya Janata Party’s surge in Odisha, Naveen Patnaik on Friday effected a massive reshuffle in the party. According to a report in The Indian Express, the Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief has also asked several of his ministers to resign so that they can be entrusted with organisational work. The report also mentioned that he changed heads of 22 districts units of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal and put nine senior BJD leaders, including five ministers, in-charge of districts where the party performed poorly in the panchayat polls.
The report quoted BJD sources who revealed that Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das, Panchayati Raj minister Arun Sahoo, Civil Supplies Minister Sanjay Das Verma and School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra are set to resign while Tribal Development Minister Lal Bihari Himrika, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises Jogendra Behera, Textile Minister Snehangini Chhuria, Sports Minister Sudam Marandi and Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singhdeo too are likely to be dropped from the ministry.
BJD MP Baijayant Panda recently said that a few leaders are conspiring to oust some leaders from the party, reported ANI. However, Naveen Patnaik refused to comment on the situation. “I do not think that (Panda’s remark) is at all correct,” Patnaik, also BJD president, told reporters as they sought his views on Panda’s statement. Panda, while welcoming Patnaik’s decision to bring back some estranged leaders to the party fold had yesterday said that some efficient leaders had left the party due to conspiracy. “As the chief minister has said that the matter will be considered on a case to case basis, I feel this is the right approach,” Panda had said yesterday. Panda had recently been in the news over his newspaper article where he mentioned that all was not well in the ruling party in Odisha.