Swearing-in ceremony of first BJP government in Odisha on June 12

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Bhubaneswar: The swearing-in ceremony for the first BJP government in Odisha has been rescheduled from June 10 to June 12, party leaders Jatin Mohanty and Vijaypal Singh Tomar confirmed here on Sunday.

Mohanty explained that the postponement was due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitments.

Modi will be busy with his own swearing-in ceremony on Sunday and meeting party MPs the following day. Additionally, the first legislature party meeting of the newly elected members is now set for June 11.

During the election campaign, Modi had said Odisha’s first BJP government would be sworn in on June 10. BJP state president Manmohan Samal had also confirmed this on Saturday.

However, the decision to change the date was taken on Sunday, party sources said.

Meanwhile, suspense still remains over the new chief minister. Senior BJP leader and newly elected MLA Suresh Pujari rushed to New Delhi, triggering speculation that he may be among the main contenders for the top post, sources said.

Pujari, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bargarh in the 2019 polls, won the recent election from Brajarajnagar assembly constituency. His supporters believe he was called to New Delhi for discussions with central leaders.

While the BJP central leadership is yet to zero in on any leader for the CM post, Odisha party unit president Manmohan Samal on Saturday told reporters to wait for two more days for a clear picture to emerge.

After returning from New Delhi, Samal said the parliamentary board of BJP would take a decision on the chief minister at its meeting.

The BJP secured a comfortable majority in the 147-member Assembly, winning 78 seats. The party went to the elections under the leadership of Modi without naming a chief ministerial candidate.

Meanwhile, preparations are on to organise the oath-taking ceremony at Janata Maidan in Bhubaneswar.