Bhubaneswar: Digapahandi MLA Surya Narayan Patro was elected Speaker of the 16th Odisha Legislative Assembly on Saturday. He was elected uncontested in the House.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tabled the proposal while Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh and other members of the Assembly supported it.
Pro-tem Speaker Amar Prasad Satpathy then invited Patro to take charge as Speaker.
However, the BJP members were absent.
A seven-time MLA, Patro was elected from Mohana Assembly in Gajapati district in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2004. In the first two elections, he had contested as the Janata Dal candidate and the remaining two elections as the BJD candidate. However, he switched to Digapahandi constituency in Ganjam district and won the election in 2009, 2014 and 2019.
During his 29-year stint, Patro has held several portfolios like Forest, Fisheries & Animal Husbandry, Environment, Energy, Science and Technology, Tourism, Information Technology, Culture, Revenue and Disaster Management, Information & Public Relations, Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare and Cooperation.