Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa Governor Dr. S.C. Jamir administered oath of office and secrecy to members of the new Cabinet in Raj Bhawan this forenoon.
The ceremony began with Mr. Naveen Patnaik swearing in as Chief Minister at 10.10 AM followed by 11 Cabinet Ministers and 10 Ministers of State. The ceremony ended at 11.10 AM.
Dr Damodar Rout, Debi Prasad Mishra, Bikram Keshari Arukh, Badrinaryan Patra, Lalbihari Himrika, Bijoyshree Routray, Usha Devi, Jogendra Behera, Pradeep Maharathy, Pushendra Singh Deo and Pradeep Kumar Amat took oath as Cabinet Ministers,whereas Arun Sahu, Ramesh Majhi, Prafulla Mallick, Pranab Prakash Das, Sudam Marnadi Dr Pradeep Panigrahi, Snehangini Chhuria, Asok Kumar Panda, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Sanjaya Dasburma took oath as Ministers of State.
Most of the sworn-in Ministers touched the feet of the Chief Minister before and after taking oath of office, oblivious of how such sycophancy is an affront to the dignity of the constitutional posts they are bestowed upon with.Portfolios are yet to be distributed.
But the good thing is that, Naveen has eased out some of his former cabinet colleagues, who, in public perception, were not of the stuff that matches political responsibility and probity.
The Chief Minister being the same as of the last term, it will be proper for the new Cabinet to begin with taking stock of assurances given by the government in the last Assembly and to discourage loss of Cabinet resolutions in bureaucratic labyrinth at the stage of execution.
When the new team starts functioning, its collective responsibility should be emancipation of people from the pernicious grip of trade and industry that have posed severe threat to environment and eco-systems of the State.
It would be better to keep the future generations of Orissa and their right to the State’s natural resources in mind before squandering them away for touted benefit of only the present generation.
The last Government had done a lot of damage to the contemporary and future generations of Oriyas. Yet, the mandate given to Naveen is with the last hope that his approach may change, good sense may prevail and State terror may end.
With hope against hope that this new government would be pro-people instead of being pro-power, we welcome the new Cabinet.