Ministry health

With polls done and dusted, Naveen set to carry out cabinet reshuffle soon – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

BHUBANESWAR: With the panchayat and Urban Local Body (ULB) elections now complete, attention has now turned to a possible reshuffle in the Naveen Patnaik ministry within the next month.

It is the first time there has not been a cabinet reshuffle for almost three years, although there have been occasions in which the names of different ministers have come up for their alleged involvement in corruption and other matters putting the government in a very embarrassing position.

Cabinet changes were stalled for nearly three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then local elections. While Covid appears to have subsided and political activity has resumed, speculation is rife of a reshuffle very soon.

Sources said the Chief Minister will start reviewing the performance of different departments next week based on the implementation of 5T and “Mo Sarkar” initiatives. The performance of the Departments of Health and Family Welfare, Food Supply and Consumer Welfare, Agriculture, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Urban Development will be reviewed during the exam.

Although the ruling BJD swept the panchayat and ULB elections, the party’s performance in the areas of several heavyweights emerged as a source of concern for the party. The party lost the chairmanship in Junagarh and Dharamgarh notified the Regional Councils (NAC) of Kalahandi district. This put the spotlight back on the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Dibya Shankar Mishra, who was an opposition target in the Mamita Meher murder case.

Similarly, the BJD also lost the position of chairman to the BJP in the Balimena NAC, which falls under the constituency of Minister of State for Textiles, Handlooms and Handicrafts Padmini Dian. In addition, another party heavyweight, Rural Development Minister Sushant Singh and State Minister for Sports and Youth Tushar Kanti Behera are also under scrutiny for BJD’s below par performance in their respective fields.

There have also been several incidents over the past two years, including the Pari murder case and the Mahanga double murder of BJP leaders, which have put the government in a difficult position. Although the opposition demanded the dismissal of Agriculture Minister Arun Sahu and Justice Minister Pratap Jena for their alleged involvement in the respective cases, these were ignored by the party leader.

Sources said that the scam in the purchase of masks and medical consumables during the pandemic and the death of ACF Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra will also be taken into account during the reshuffle.