Saluga Pradhan Elected Unopposed As Deputy Speaker Of Odisha Assembly
Bhubaneswar: Senior tribal leader and BJD MLA from G Udayagiri Saluga Pradhan was on Tuesday elected unopposed as the Deputy Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly.
While BJP had not fielded any candidate and Congress did not have numbers to contest the post, which fell vacant on November 8 after resignation of Rajanikanta Singh.
On Monday, Pradhan flanked by several senior ministers and MLAs had filed his nomination papers. His nomination is seen as attempt by the ruling BJD to woo tribal voters ahead of the 2024 twin polls. It further strengthens the position of tribals in the present dispensation, which already has three tribal ministers – Jagannath Saraka, Sudam Marndi and Basanti Hembram. While Saraka is the Law minister, Marndi holds the Revenue and Disaster Management portfolio. Similarly, Hembram, a minister of state, holds key departments of Women, Child Development and Mission Shakti.
Pradhan is a two-time MLA from G Udayagiri.
The election also signalled the beginning of the winter session of the Assembly, which will continue till December 30 and have 30 business days. At least 23 days have been allocated for official business and six days for Private Members’ Business (Bills and Resolutions), according to the provisional calendar. The Assembly will remain closed on the occasion of Rasa Purnima on November 27 and Christmas on December 25. The House will not meet on November 25 and 26.
This is likely to be the last session of the Assembly before twin polls next year.