BJP Ministry In Odisha: Is Jayanarayan Sulking?

Bhubaneswar: Earlier considered one of the main contenders for Chief Minister’s post in Odisha, BJP heavyweight Jayanarayan Mishra was unable to get a ministerial berth in the new government that took oath at Janata Maidan in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. The firebrand leader is stated to be sulking after being denied a place in the first BJP ministry in the state. His absence at the swearing-in ceremony of the BJP government has triggered hot discussions in political circles. Jayanarayan, who took a lead in keeping the previous BJD government under attack, was stated to have been ignored by the saffron party which stormed to power in Odisha.

Denial Of Ministerial Berth

Jayanarayan, the MLA from Sambalpur, was in the race for Chief Minister’s post after BJP swept the Assembly polls by winning 78 of the 147 seats in the state legislature. The BJP stalwart was the leader of opposition (LoP) during the previous BJD government. It was speculated that he may be considered for the post of Chief Minister or Deputy CM. However, he was not included in the council of ministers. Observers wonder whether Jayanarayan has been sidelined by the saffron party after its spectacular electoral victory in Odisha.

One Who Challenged BJD

When Naveen Patnaik-led BJD was in power, Jayanarayan targeted the government on a host of issues, including 5T charter and corruption. The voice of the opposition gained sharpness after Jayanarayan became the LoP in the Assembly. His stinging attack often put the BJD government in awkward situations in the Assembly. The BJP stalwart is also stated to have played a significant role in the impressive victory of Dharmendra Pradhan from Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat.

Is Jayanarayan Sulking?

It is said that Jayanarayan was insisting that the post of CM or Deputy CM be given to him and he was highly unhappy as his demand went unheeded. While the saffron party did not consider his demand, his supporters were hopeful that the Sambalpur MLA would be included in the ministry. However, all hopes of a ministerial berth were also shattered. Jayanarayan was said to have skipped the oath-taking ceremony of the BJP government following denial of a place in the ministry.

Why Was He Dropped?

Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo, who represents Patnagarh Assembly constituency in western Odisha, has been made Deputy CM. Similarly, Brajarajnagar MLA Suresh Pujari and Kuchinda legislator Rabinarayan Nayak have been included in the cabinet as ministers from the western region. Suresh Pujari and Singh Deo represent brahmin and general category respectively. While all these quotas were filled, Jayanarayan was unable to get any ministerial position.

As 16 Ministers, including CM Mohan Majhi, have been sworn-in, there are now six vacancies in the council of ministers. Therefore, political observers are of the opinion that Jayanarayan is likely to be made a Miniter later though he was excluded in the first phase. However, many in political circles feel that the firebrand leader, who had become the voice of BJP in the state, has been sidelined.

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