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Odisha: Former CM Naveen Patanaik elected as Leader of Opposition in assembly

During a meeting of BJD MLAs, Naveen Patnaik was elected as the leader of the opposition as well as the leader of the BJD Parliamentary Party. It is after 24 years that Naveen Patnaik is to participate in the state assembly not as chief minister.

Edited By: Shubham Bajpai Bhubaneswar Published on: June 19, 2024 20:00 IST
Naveen Patnaik elected as Leader of Opposition
Image Source : PTI Former Odisha CM and Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Naveen Patnaik

Former Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced that he would be the leader of the opposition (LoP) in the Odisha assembly.

A meeting of the newly elected MLAs of Biju Janta Dal (BJD) was held today in Bhubaneswar. During the meeting, Naveen Patnaik was elected as the leader of the opposition and the leader of the BJD parliamentary party. After the meeting, Patnaik briefed the media and said the decision was taken at the BJD's legislature party meeting. 

"We had a meeting of the MLAs of the BJD. I congratulated and thanked them. They have elected me as the leader of the opposition and leader of the BJD legislature party," he said.

He also said that senior BJD leader and party MLA Prasanna Acharya was named as the deputy leader of the opposition.

Additionally, former speaker Pramila Mallik would be the chief whip of the opposition in the assembly. Patnaik also named Pratap Keshari Deb as the deputy chief whip of the opposition in the house.

Naveen Patnaik lost power after 24 years

Notably, the BJD ruled the state for 24 years since it got an absolute majority and formed a government under Naveen Patnaik in 2000.  In the recently concluded state assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party won the state with 78 seats in 147 member assemblies. BJD, which enjoyed absolute majority for over two decades, was reduced to 51 seats. 

BJD witnessed unprecedented loss in these elections as it held 117 seats in the last assembly, while the BJP emerged as a massive gainer and reached 78 from 10 seats in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Congress party also managed to get 17 seats in the 2024 assembly elections. The BJP later selected Mohan Chaman Manjhi as the new CM of the state with two deputies namely, Karan Vardhan Singh and Pravati Parida.

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