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Problem of plenty for CM

Naveen shows victory sign at his residence after the poll results were announced on Friday. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee

The process for formation of the next government has begun. The new ministry is likely to assume office early next week.

The BJD legislature party will meet tomorrow to elect Naveen Patnaik as its leader and formally stake its claim to form the government before the governor.

The day saw a huge crowd at Naveen Nivas with newly elected MLAs and MPs gathering outside his residence to felicitate him.

BJD vice-president Kalpataru Das said: “The legislature party will formally elect Naveen Patnaik as its leader tomorrow. The Election Commission of India will formally notify the names of the elected representatives tomorrow. The process for the formation of the ministry will begin.”

Official sources said the swearing-in ceremony would be held outside the Abhisek hall in an open field inside the Governor’s House. The tent for this purpose is being erected.

“As relatives of the newly inducted ministers and common people will come to see the swearing-in ceremony, it will not be possible to organise the function inside the governor’s residence,” said an official.

The task to select new ministers is not going to be easy for Naveen, who has gained a massive mandate. “It’s his prerogative. We are disciplined soldiers of the party. We will be do whatever the task is assigned to us,” said BJD’s youth wing leader Sanjay Dasburma, who retained his seat by defeating Congress stalwart Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohaptra for the second time consecutively.

A BJD leader said that as Naveen Patnaik has made it clear that development would be his main plank, he would try and strike a balance between experienced leaders and younger generation while selecting his new team.

He will also have to give proper representation to women, Dalits and tribals. There are 10 BJD women legislators this time, said a newly elected MLA.

With two ministers, Prasanna Acharya and Pratap Keshari Deb, supposed to be close confidants of Naveen, losing elections this time, the race is wide open. Acharya had held the finance portfolio.

“It will be interesting to see who will replace Prasanna and Pratap in the government,” said a leader.

The absence of Naveen’s Doon schoolmate A.U. Singh Deo will also be felt.

Singh Deo, who had resigned from the government following a hooch tragedy, had lost the elections from Balangir.

In another development, steps have been taken to refurbish the Governor’s House. A group of gardeners from the Capital Nursery have been drafted to maintain cleanliness of Raj Bhavan for a week.