Bhubaneswar: Considered the most successful Minister in Narendra Modi’s first Government, Dharmendra Pradhan will continue to handle Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry. He also got the Ministry of Steel while first time MP from Balasore Pratap Sarangi was made (MoS) MSMS and Animal Husbandry Dairying and Fisheries.
Pradhan, currently a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, was crucial to the party’s growth in Odisha. The BJP won eight Lok Sabha seats this time to one in 2014. Earlier, three Odias – Biju Patnaik, current Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Braja Kishore Tripathy – held the Steel Ministry at the Centre.
Sarangi is an unlike politician. A bachelor, Sarangi stays in thatched house, rides a bicycle, leads very simple life. He defeated outgoing BJD MP and industrialist Rabindra Kumar Jena and Nabajyoti Patnaik of Congress, two of Odisha’s richest MP candidates. He is fondly called ‘Nana,’ someone revered like an elder brother.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi retained Pradhan in his Cabinet and inducted Srangi as a MoS. The retention of Pradhan in PNG Ministry was widely anticipated.
Sundergarh MP Jaul Oram – one of the tallest tribal leaders in the country and Tribal Affairs Minister in Modi’s first term – was dropped from the Council of Ministers this time. Oram also held the Tribal Affairs Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Government.