MLAs elect Naveen leader; BJD won 117 seats in 147-member Assembly

Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik was unanimously elected leader of the BJD Legislature Party at the meeting of the party’s 117 newly elected legislators here on Sunday.

Mr. Patnaik, who led the party single-handedly to a massive win in both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, is set to become the Chief Minister for the fourth consecutive term.

V. Sugnana Kumari Deo, senior-most legislator with her 10th victory, moved the proposal for Mr. Patnaik’s election as the leader. It was supported by senior leader Damodar Rout.

Mr. Patnaik , who proved himself to be the undisputed leader of the regional party by winning a record fourth term and making the BJD bag the highest number of seats in any election, was greeted with flowers by a large number of legislators of the party as he reached the party headquarters.

Mr. Patnaik thanked the legislators for choosing him as their leader.

Addressing the legislators, Mr. Patnaik said that people had voted for their party in a big way and they would have to work with renewed effort for the development of Odisha.

The BJD won 117 seats in the 147-member Assembly by decimating main Opposition Congress which won 16 seats. While the BJD had won 103 seats in 2009, the Congress had bagged 27. The BJP won 10 seats as against six in 2009.

The process of constitution of the new Assembly commenced with Chief Electoral Officer Mona Sharma meeting Governor S.C. Jamir and presenting him the gazette notification.

The model code of conduct, which was in force since the announcement of election schedule, was lifted with effect from Sunday, according to Ms. Sharma. The schedule for the swearing-in of the new Ministry has not been finalised.