Odisha 4th BJP-Ruled State To Have One CM With 2 Deputies; How Prevalent Is This Formula

Bhubaneswar: The BJP picked Mohan Charan Majhi as its first chief minister of Odisha and also appointed K V Singhdeo and Pravati Parida as his deputies.

This model of one chief minister and two deputy CMs is not new for the BJP. The saffron party had first introduced the system in Uttar Pradesh and repeated it in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh after winning the last year-end’s assembly polls. It continued with the trend in Odisha.

But what is the reason behind such a system?


This system is being attributed to BJP’s perceived preference for collective leadership in states. It has also helped in balancing caste equations better in each state.

In Odisha, the BJP appointed four-time Keonjhar MLA and a prominent tribal leader Majhi as the chief minister. The deputy CMs were also picked keeping the regional and caste equations in mind. KV is a six-time legislator from Patnagarh while Pravati is a first-time MLA from Nimapara. KV is a member of an erstwhile royal family from the western belt and Pravati belongs to OBC community and represents coastal Odisha. Her appointment is also seen as a push to the party’s women empowerment agenda.

Incidentally, they were not seen as obvious choices during polls though the names of Majhi and KV were doing the rounds for the CM post after the BJP pulled off a surprise in Odisha by winning 78 of 147 Assembly seats. The party announced its CM and deputy CMs almost a week after the results were declared.

These appointments after much deliberation are being seen as an attempt by the party, which came to power for the first time in the state, to give equal importance to all regions and categories of people.


After a massive victory in 2017 in UP Assembly polls, the BJP appointed Yogi Adityanath as chief minister and Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma as his deputies to balance the caste equations in the state.

Subsequently, Bhajanlal Sharma was appointed as the chief minister of Rajasthan and Prem Chand Bairwa and Diya Kumari as his deputies.  New chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Mohan Yadav and Vishnu Deo Sai were also seen as unusual choices. Yadav has two deputies — Jagdish Devda and Rajendra Shukla, while Vijay Sharma and Arun Sao are serving as deputy CMs in Chhattisgarh.

The BJP introduced this system after its CMs in Jharkhand, Tripura and Haryana failed to retain power. The were subsequently moved out of state politics and made MPs or Governor.


A Deputy CM usually reflected a political compromise when no single leader commanded unchallenged authority in the party in power or in case of a coalition government.

In Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar are the deputy CMs in the Mahayuti alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) and NCP (Ajit Pawar). Dushyant Chautala is the deputy CM in Haryana where BJP emerged as the single largest party and formed the government in a post-poll alliance with the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and seven Independent MLAs in 2019.

Similarly, Samrat Chaudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha were sworn-in as deputies of Nitish Kumar when he took oath for the ninth time as CM of Bihar after snapping ties with “Mahagathbandhan” in January.

Prior to this, Tejashwi Yadav also served as the deputy CM of Bihar from August 10, 2022, to January 28, 2024 under JD (U)-RJD coalition government.

On the other hand, D K Shivakumar was appointed as the deputy CM in Karnataka and Mukesh Agnihotri in Himachal Pradesh to balance different power equations in the Congress.

Notably, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had as many as five deputies when he was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

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