Twenty-one new ministers of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's cabinet have taken oaths of office and secrecy in a glittering ceremony here on Sunday.
For the first time, the swearing-in ceremony was organised at the Lok Seva Bhawan (state secretariat).
Governor Ganeshi Lal administered the oaths of office and secrecy to the newly-inducted ministers in presence of Chief Minister Patnaik and senior BJD leaders.
As many as 13 minister-designates have sworn in as cabinet minister while eight others took oath as minister of state (MoS). There were 20 members in the last council of ministers of Naveen.
The newly-inducted cabinet ministers area -- Jagannath Saraka, Niranjan Pujari, Ranendra Pratap Swain, Pramila Mallik, Usha Devi, Prafulla Kumar Mallik, Pratap Keshari Deb, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Pradip Kumar Amat, Naba Kishore Das, Ashok Chandra Panda, Tukuni Sahu and Rajendra Dholakia.
Similarly, Samir Ranjan Dash, Aswini Kumar Patra, Pritiranjan Gharai, Srikanta Sahu, Tusharkanti Behera, Rohit Pujari, Rita Sahu and Basanti Hembram have sworn in as MoS.
However, Patnaik has not distributed the portfolios to the new ministers so far. The distribution is likely to be made by evening, officials said.
Seven BJD legislators -- Rajendra Dholakia, Aswini Kumar Patra, Rohit Pujari, Srikanta Sahu, Pritiranjan Gharai, Basanti Hembram and Rita Sahu -- have been inducted as ministers for the first time in their political history. Similarly, Jagannath Saraka and Ashok Panda got promoted to cabinet rank from MoS.
Patnaik has increased the representation from western Odisha in his council to seven as the ruling BJD is facing challenge from BJP in the region.
A day before the reshuffle, for the first time in his 22 years of political history, Naveen had asked all ministers to resign from their positions with immediate effect.
Of the 20-member council of ministers, nine leaders were again re-inducted in the new cabinet.
Patnaik has dropped 11 ministers from the new council. The legislators who were dropped from the cabinet are-- Bikram Keshari Arukha, Padmanabha Behera, Pratap Jena, Aruna Kumar Sahoo, Sudam Marndi, Susanta Singh, Dibya Shankar Mishra, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Premananda Nayak, Raghunandan Das and Padmini Dian.
After swearing-in, cabinet minister Tukuni Sahu said, "I have already served as women and child development minister in Naveen's council. I will try my best to discharge whatever new responsibility will be given to me. Will work hard to realise the vision of our CM."
Thanking the Chief Minister for inducting him as a minister, first timer MoS Rohit Pujari said, "My only motive is to take forward the developmental works undertaken under the leadership of Naveen Patnaik."