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Amar Satpathy appointed as Govt. Chief Whip




 In a bid to pacify the growing resentment in the ruling party following Sunday's ministry reshuffle, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today appointed Badachana MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy as the government chief whip.

Satpathy, who is presently designated as the BJD spokesman, will get the status of a cabinet minister as the government chief whip. He replaced Ananta Das, who has recently been appointed as a minister of state for Higher Education.

Badachana MLA hailed from Jajpur district which had not been represented in the ministry in the Sunday's reshuffle. Pranab Prakash Das, the lone minister from Jajpur, had resigned from the council of ministers ahead of Patnaik reshuffling his ministry.

Though Jajpur did not get a berth in the ministry, one of its MLAs (Satpathy) now got the status of a cabinet minister.

Three senior MLAs from Jajpur district, Satpathy, Debasish Nayak and Pramila Mallick had held a parley in the state capital after they were denied berth in the ministry.

Earlier, yesterday, Patnaik had announced name of Pratap K Deb as the BJD candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Odisha. Deb, though not an MLA, hailed from Kendrapara district, which also did not get a berth in the ministry.

Pradip Kumar Amat, who had also resigned as finance and health minister, has been named as the BJD candidate for the Odisha Assembly Speaker's post which remained vacant after Niranjan Pujari joining the ministry. Amat hailed from Boudh district, which also did not get representation in the ministry.

Replying a question on the growing resentment over the non-representation of over a dozen of districts in the ministry, Patnaik had said that the MLAs from all areas cannot be included in the council of ministers as the size of the ministry is 22 while the number of districts in Odisha has been 30.

Meanwhile, veteran leader of the party from Sundargarh Mangala Kisan has also changed his stance over ministerial reshuffle. Kisan who met Naveen Patnaik today said he was carried away when media persons questioned him on his exclusion from Naveen’s list of ministers. “I have never thought of quitting the party and will continue to work for the party”, he said.

Another BJD lawmaker Mahesh Sahoo also slammed all those who criticise Naveen’s decision on ministerial reshuffle.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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