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Naveen Patnaik elected Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly

Author : IANS

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Bhubaneswar, June 19 (IANS) Biju Janata Dal President and former Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was on Wednesday elected the leader of the legislature party, making him the Leader of the Opposition in the Odisha Assembly.

The decision was taken in a meeting of newly-elected BJD MLAs held at the Sankha Bhawan, the party headquarters here.

Addressing media persons later, Patnaik said: "We have just had a meeting of the Biju Janata Dal MLAs who have been elected in the recent elections. I congratulated and thanked them. They (BJD MLAs) have elected me as the leader of the BJD legislature party and of the opposition."

He also said that senior party leader and Rairakhol MLA Prasanna Acharya has been appointed as the deputy leader of the BJD legislature party, and Pramila Mallik and Pratap Keshari Deb as the party’s chief whip and deputy chief whip, respectively.

"We had a very thorough meeting with our MLAs today and discussed many matters including recent election results," Patnaik, who will play the role of the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly for the first time, added.

The 77-year-old Patnaik, who had joined politics following his father and Janata Dal stalwart Biju Patnaik’s death in 1997, had never faced defeat from his first elections in 2000 until now. The BJD, which bagged 112 out of the 147 seats during the 2019 elections, managed to win only 51 seats in the 2024 Assembly polls. Patnaik, who contested from both his traditional Hinjili seat in Ganjam and Kantabanji seat in Balangir in 2024, lost in the latter seat.

--IANS

gyan/vd


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