The Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly, Bikram Keshari Arukh, and two ministers of the Naveen Patnaik cabinet on Friday resigned from their posts amid speculation about a possible ministry reshuffle ahead of the 2024 general elections.
“I have sent my resignation to the deputy Speaker. I will discharge any responsibility assigned to me by the party or the government, I stepped down on my own,” said Arukh, who was elected the Speaker in June 2022. Arukh is likely to be included in the ministry
Arukh, the stalwart from Ganjam district, is known for his organisational skills. He could also be assigned important organisational responsibility. “If he continues as the Speaker, a constitutional post, he cannot be utilised for any other purpose. So he has stepped down,” said an insider of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
The two ministers — school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash and labour minister Srikanta Sahu — also submitted their resignations. Both Dash and Sahu were earlier embroiled in controversies and the Opposition demanded their resignations.