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4-Time MLA Mohan Majhi To Be Odisha’s First BJP Chief Minister



Bhubaneshwar (Odisha):

The BJP has picked a relatively unknown face — four-time MLA and the party’s tribal face Mohan Charan Manjhi — as the new Chief Minister of Odisha after senior state leaders Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram were pulled into the Union government. The party has also picked two Deputies for Mr Manjhi — KV Singh Deo and Pravati Parida.

The oath ceremony will be held tomorrow, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. PM Modi is expected to hold a roadshow in Bhubaneshwar on his way to the venue, the Janata Maidan.

Mr Majhi, 52, a four-time MLA from Keonjhar, is an experienced politician and his public service and organisational skills worked in his favour in the race for the top post, sources indicated. The chief whip of the BJP in the previous assembly, he was the youngest of the frontrunners.

Mr Deo, a six-time MLA and an erstwhile royal from Patna (princely state), Bolangir, was a minister in the Naveen Patnaik government for nine years till 2009, when the BJP and the Biju Janata Dal were in alliance.

Picking the next Chief Minister was a tricky move for the BJP, which is forming government in the coastal state for the first time after 24 years of Naveen Patnaik’s rule. The state, though, had reposed faith in the BJP, giving the party 78 of the 147 assembly seats. The BJP won 51 seats.  

The BJP legislature party selected the names this evening under the eyes of Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Bhupendra Yadav, who were sent as observers by the Central leadership.

Key leaders and Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Jual Oram also attended the meeting held at the state BJP headquarters in Bhubaneshwar.

Tight security arrangements have been made for tomorrow’s oath ceremony. Several dignitaries, including union ministers and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, are expected to attend the function.

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