It is said he will engage all the 13 dropped ministers, including Dr Arun Kumar Sahoo, Pratap Jena and Divya Shankar Mishra – the three most powerful ministers in the organisational activities. However, the moot question is - Will these three who wielded much power in the previous council of ministers be able to sweat and swelter on the ground after spending quite good time in the power corridor?
Grapevine has it that all the three above ministers are sulking in silence as their exclusion is being seen as punishments for their alleged involvement in different murder cases. Shunting them out from the council of ministers has only reaffirmed the people’s perception and impression about their alleged links with the heinous crimes and it would take years to make comebacks after the people’s memory fades away.
Sources in the BJD said the party has decided to appoint the above three along with a few other dropped ministers in key organisational positions to once again prove their worth. They will be assigned the responsibility of making “effective inroads” into the Congress’s bastion in South Odisha and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) strongholds in western parts of the state.
The organisational engagement of the ministers will be like the Ranji Trophy matches given as opportunities to some non-performing players of Team India to rework their skill and techniques and return to the form.
The chief minister, sources in the party informed, will go for a complete overhaul of the organisation after return his proposed foreign trip later this month.
The BJP made some significant gains in western Odisha in 2019 Lok Sabha polls by obtaining 7 out of the 9 seats in the region. Besides, 14 of the party’s 23 MLAs were elected from western and southern Odisha districts.
According to political analysts, although the ruling party has no immediate threats from the opposition BJP and Congress as they stand completely fragmented and ill-equipped to put up a strong battle in elections, the CM wants to improve upon his party’s 2019 tally of 113 assembly seats and 12 Lok Sabha seats.
In 2014, the BJD had bagged 117 of 147 assembly seats. In Lok Sabha polls, too, the party had registered an astounding performance by winning 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats.
In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress got only one seat in Odisha. Similarly, the party has only 9 members in the State Assembly.