BJP legislature party in Odisha to meet on Tuesday evening to choose CM

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 Rajnath Singh Bhupendra Yadav

Rajnath Singh and Bhupendra Yadav

Bhubaneswar: A week after the announcement of the assembly poll results in Odisha where the BJP got a majority in the 147-member House, its legislature party in the state is all set to hold its first meeting on Tuesday to select the chief minister, a saffron camp leader said.

Balasore MP Pratap Sarangi said the meeting will take place at 4:30 pm at the BJP's state headquarters.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Bhupender Yadav reached Bhubaneswar to attend the meeting as observers, he said.

On June 4, the BJP secured a majority by winning 78 of the 147 assembly seats.

As Sambalpur MP Dharmendra Pradhan became a minister in the third Narendra Modi government, the focus is now on Suresh Pujari, who was elected from Brajarajnagar assembly seat and BJP's Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal, another party leader said.

Even though Samal was defeated in the assembly elections in the Chandbali seat by a margin of 1,916 votes, his name was being considered for the chief minister's post as he contributed immensely to the party’s victory in the polls, he said.

Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) and ex-Lieutenant Governor of J&K Girish Murmu, who served as Narendra Modi’s former principal secretary when he was the Gujarat CM, is also among the names doing the rounds.

However, BJP Odisha in-charge Vijay Pal Singh Tomar said that he was not aware of Murmu being considered for the CM post.

Several party leaders anticipated that the BJP leadership might make "a surprise announcement, as seen in previous instances in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh".

“Everything is possible in Odisha as the BJP is a worker-driven party,” said a senior party leader.

Party sources said that whoever is selected for the CM's post in the legislature party meeting would first visit the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri before taking oath on Wednesday.

According to Sarangi, the swearing-in ceremony is likely to be held on June 12 at 5 pm.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to arrive in Bhubaneswar at 2.30 pm on Wednesday and proceed to Raj Bhavan from the airport, the party sources said.

He will reach Janata Maidan later to attend the oath-taking ceremony.

Tight security arrangements have been made in the proposed venue for the swearing-in ceremony.

Several dignitaries, including union ministers and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, are expected to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the new Odisha CM and other ministers.