Naveen Patnaik, who steered BJD to a landslide victory in the Odisha Assembly elections, was today sworn in as Chief Minister for a fourth consecutive term. Patnaik and 21 ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor S C Jamir at the Raj Bhavan.
The eleven who took oath as cabinet ministers were Pradip Kumar Amat, Damodar Rout, Debi Prasad Mishra, Pradip Maharathy, Bijayshree Routray, Bikram Keshari Arukh, Usha Devi, Lal Behari Himirika, Jogendra Behera, Badri Narayan Patra and Puspendra Singhdeo. The remaining ten were ministers of state.
Five members of the previous ministry were dropped, while the new team included eight first time ministers, including cabinet minister Jogendra Behera. Those dropped were Surya Narayan Patro, Maheswar Mohanty and Niranjan Pujari, who had held cabinet rank, while Rajanikant Singh and Subrat Tarai were ministers of state.
Those who became ministers for the first time were Pranab Prakash Das, Sudam Marandi, Prafulla Mallick, Snehangini Chhuria, Pradeep Panigrahi, Ashok Panda and Sanjay Das Burma.
Once considered a political novice and a reluctant inheritor of Biju Patnaik's mantle in 1997, Naveen Patnaik has turned master strategist to become Odisha Chief Minister for the fourth consecutive time.