Who Will Be The Next Odisha CM?

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Who Will Be The Next Odisha CM?

| Updated: June 6, 2024 14:00

Five names are doing the rounds both at the state and Central levels

With the BJP sweeping both the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in Odisha, speculation is rife on who the next chief minister will be. 

Based on the criteria set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier during the poll campaign, the names of some Odia sons are doing the rounds both at the BJP state office in Bhubaneswar and the national headquarters in Delhi.

The BJP Parliamentary Board has called all the newly-elected MPs from Odisha to Delhi for a meeting on Friday to discuss the name for the post of chief minister.

The names that are being suggested as CM probables are CAG Girish Chandra Murmu, K V Singh Deo, Suresh Pujari, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Manmohan Samal. 

Girish Chandra Murmu 

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Girish Chandra Murmu is seen as the frontrunner for the CM post. Murmu is an IAS officer who is considered a favourite with both PM Modi and Amit Shah. Social media is abuzz that he will be Odisha’s next CM.  

The 1985-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer had earlier held the position of Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He has been recently re-elected as the external auditor of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Born in a Santali family in Betonati of Mayurbhanj, Murmu held several key positions in the Government of Gujarat during the tenure of Narendra Modi as CM.

K V Singh Deo

The scion of the erstwhile royal family of Patnagarh in Bolangir district, K V Singh Deo, is also seen as a potential face for the new chief minister. He has been elected from Patnagarh Assembly constituency and has held different portfolios during the BJP-BJD alliance government. He had also earlier played a pivotal role in chalking out the poll strategies as the BJP state president.

Suresh Pujari

A former BJP president of Odisha unit, Suresh Pujari has been elected to the state Assembly from Brajrajnagar. A prominent party figure in western Odisha he is also seen as a CM probable. Pujari was elected to Lok Sabha in the last general election from Bargarh. Born in Sambalpur, the BJP veteran has held several central key positions. 

Dharmendra Pradhan

The Union Minister for Education and Skill Development, Dharmendra Pradhan, is also a top contender for the CM’s post in Odisha. Pradhan, having a long association with BJP-backed ABVP and RSS, is said to have crafted the party manifesto with ‘Odia Asmita’ as its poll theme. Pradhan is also considered as a man behind the BJP’s rise in the state. 

A post-graduate from Utkal University, Pradhan has been involved in active politics since when he was a student. Pradhan has successfully discharged his duties as Cabinet minister as well as in other party positions at different times. He has been close to PM Modi and Amit Shah for over a decade,

Manmohan Samal

At the helm of the party in Odisha, Manmohan Samal is also seen as another claimant for the CM post even though he lost the contest from Chandabali seat to BJD’s Byomakesh Ray. Samal, who was instrumental against the talk of a BJD-BJP pre-poll alliance, played a crucial role in chalking out the action plans for BJP’s thumping victory. 

Having had a long career in politics with the BJP, Samal was also a key minister in the Naveen Patnaik Cabinet during the BJP-BJD coalition government. Samal had been last elected to 13th legislative Assembly from Dhamnagar in 2004 and held the position of food minister in the Naveen Patnaik-led government in 2004.

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