Who All From Odisha Might Get A Berth In Modi’s Team?

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Bhubaneswar: The Bhartiya Janata Party’s performance in Odisha in 2019 has been way better than what it was in 2014. While BJP managed with a single Lok Sabha MP, Jual Oram, last time, in 2019 as many as eight MPs have been elected from the state.

Thanks to BJP’s look-east policy, Odisha got two important ranks in Modi 1.0 team. One was the crucial Petroleum and Natural Gas which landed in Dharmendra Pradhan’s kitty, while Oram secured a Cabinet rank with the Tribal Affairs portfolio.

However, the dynamics of Odisha’s role in National politics is expected to get a complete makeover. There are strong contenders from Odisha who are likely to get a berth in Modi’s new team which will be sworn-in today evening.

According to sources, Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh Dharmendra and Balasore MP Pratap Sarangi have already got a call, and for first-time MP and ex-IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi’s stakes are high.

Odisha will have a major representation this time. Apart from Dharmendra and Oram, at least one MP from Odisha is sure to get a berth in Modi’s new team, senior journalist Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra said.

BJP MP from Balasore Pratap Sarangi is an austere man known for simplicity,  integrity and uprightness. Apart from being a VHP strongman he is also very close to the Prime Minister. So, his chances are high, said Mohapatra.

Aparajita Sarangi is an ex-IAS officer who had a successful stint at the Centre prior to her voluntary retirement. She has conquered the prestigious Bhubaneswar LS seat for the BJP. Her stakes are equally high.

As far as western Odisha is concerned, the saffron party’s performance exceeded expectations in 2019 LS elections. “Suresh Pujari’s contributions for this feat are significant. He won the Bargarh seat, despite Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik contesting from one of the assembly seats there,” Mohapatra said.

As the co in-charge of the West Bengal, Pujari was also credited for BJP’s performance in the State, minimising Trinamool Congress’ footprint. Pujari is one of the strong contenders for a ministerial berth.

According to veteran journalist Prasant Patnik, Modi will not disappoint Aparajita Sarangi because it was on his insistence, the latter quit IAS and leaped into politics.

"If Modi has to select one of the newly elected MPs from Odisha, it will be Aparajita Sarangi. However, Suresh Pujari is also one of the favourites because of his strong organisational skills and developmental temperament," added Patnaik.

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Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra, Senior Journalist

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Prasant Patnaik, Senior Journalist