Naveen Patnaik
Naveen PatnaikReuters

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik on 21 May took over as the Chief Minister of Odisha for the fourth consecutive term in Bhubaneswar.

Patnaik has been the Chief Minister of the state for the past 14 years. He and a 21-member group of his ministers took the oath in front of the State Governor SC Jamir at Raj Bhavan.

The 67-year-old Patnaik led the party to a landslide victory in the just concluded State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. BJD has won 117 of the total 147 Assembly seats and 20 out of the total 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha.

Among the 21 ministers, 11 are cabinet rank and the remaining are state-rank ministers. The names of the Cabinet rank ministers are: Damodar Rout, Pradip Kumar Amat, Debi Prasad Mishra, Badrinarayan Patra, Usha Devi, Bijayshree Routray, Bikram Keshari Arukha, Pradeep Maharathy, Lalbihari Himirika, Puspendra Singh Deo, and Yogendra Behera.

The Ministers of State are: Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Arun Kumar Sahu, Sanjay Kumar Das Burma, Ashok Chandra Panda, Prafulla Kumar Mallick, Snehangini Chhuria, Pranab Prakash Das, Sudam Marandi and Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi.

Patnaik entered politics reluctantly in 1997, when his father Biju Patnaik died. Now, he is no more a reluctant person but a master politician with vast experience in politics and the State administration.

Despite a number of scams like mining and chit funds during his last tenure, Patnaik was able to steer the party to a laudable victory in the last elections.

After entering the politics in 1997, Patnaik became an MP by winning the by-election from Aska. He floated a regional party named after his father after one year and in 1998, he became a cabinet minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre. 

BJD-BJP alliance won the elections in 2000 in the state and Patnaik was made the Chief Minister. Since then he has been the state's CM, despite snapping ties with BJP in 2009 general elections.