Corporate leader Santrupt Misra’s appointment as Naveen Patnaik’s political secy surprises many

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Bhubaneswar, July 8: Santrupt Mishra, a former corporate leader, has been appointed as political secretary to Biju Janata Dal president and ex-chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

This move has come as a major surprise to many as Mishra has very little experience in politics. He had joined the BJD just a few days before the Lok Sabha polls held early this year.

Santrupta is seen as a close aide of V Karthikeyan Pandian, a bureaucrat-turned BJD politician, who is blamed for the party’s poll debacle resulting in the end of Naveen Patnaik’s 24 years rule.

Though Pandian has announced “Sanyas” or renunciation from politics following party’s drubbing in the recently held state assembly and Lok Sabha polls, source said he is still active in the BJD politics.

According to political analysts, the notifications with regard to appointments of Santrupta Mishra as Naveen Patnaik’s political secretary, national and state spokespersons reflect the influence of Pandian.

“A close look at the notifications reveals that all the people having strong connections with V Karthikeyan Pandian have been accommodated as national and state spokespersons. It does not look like that the new exercise will give any significant boost to the BJD,” said Prasanna Mohanty, a political analyst.

Santrupta Mishra was working in a multinational company which has reportedly made huge contribution to the BJD’s party fund the shape of electoral bonds.

In an official order on Sunday, BJD president Naveen Patnaik said the existing panel of national spokespersons has been replaced by five new leaders.

The new national spokespersons of the opposition party in the state are Santrupt Mishra, Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, Amar Patnaik, Sasmit Patra and Pradeep Kumar Majhi. The new appointment comes into immediate effect, the party order stated.

Another statement issued by BJD said Santrupt Mishra has been appointed as political secretary to party president Naveen Patnaik.

Similarly, Sukant Kumar Panda has been appointed as public relations officer (PRO) to Naveen Patnaik.

The BJD has also appointed 14 leaders as its state spokespersons. Senior leader Pratap Jena has been appointed as state media coordinator and Swayam Prakash Mohapatra as social media coordinator. A new state-level committee would be formed soon, the party said in a release.

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