Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his second term with 57 ministers on Thursday. Two among them – Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Chandra Sarangi – are from Odisha, but four in the ministry can reportedly speak the language of the State, Odia.
They are former Jharkhand chief minister and BJP MP from Khunti Arjun Munda and Rameshwar Teli, who won the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency in Assam for the second consecutive time.
A multi-linguist, Munda speaks English, Hindi, Bengali, Odia, and several tribal languages and dialects of the region like Santhali, Mundari, Ho and Oraon. He won the Khunti (ST) seat by beating Congress’ Kalicharan Munda by a narrow margin of 1,445 votes.
Teli, a member of the tea tribe community, can also speak Odia. The only sitting BJP MP from Assam to have been re-nominated by the party to contest in this election, he repeated the 2014 feat by defeating Congress veteran and five-time MP Paban Singh Ghatowar by bettering the margin from 1.85 lakh votes to 3,64,566 votes.