Welcome the new Cabinet

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Governor Dr. S.C. Jamir administered oath of office and secrecy to members of the new Cabinet in Raj Bhawan this forenoon.

The ceremony began with Mr. Naveen Patnaik swearing in as Chief Minister at 10.10 AM followed by 11 Cabinet Ministers and 10 Ministers of State. The ceremony ended at 11.10 AM.

Dr Damodar Rout, Debi Prasad Mishra, Bikram Keshari Arukh, Badrinaryan Patra, Lalbihari Himrika, Bijoyshree Routray, Usha Devi, Jogendra Behera, Pradeep Maharathy, Pushendra Singh Deo and Pradeep Kumar Amat took oath as Cabinet Ministers,whereas Arun Sahu, Ramesh Majhi, Prafulla Mallick, Pranab Prakash Das, Sudam Marnadi Dr Pradeep Panigrahi, Snehangini Chhuria, Asok Kumar Panda, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Sanjaya Dasburma took oath as Ministers of State.

Most of the sworn-in Ministers touched the feet of the Chief Minister before and after taking oath of office, oblivious of how such sycophancy is an affront to the dignity of the constitutional posts they are bestowed upon with.Portfolios are yet to be distributed.

But the good thing is that, Naveen has eased out some of his former cabinet colleagues, who, in public perception, were not of the stuff that matches political responsibility and probity.

The Chief Minister being the same as of the last term, it will be proper for the new Cabinet to begin with taking stock of assurances given by the government in the last Assembly and to discourage loss of Cabinet resolutions in bureaucratic labyrinth at the stage of execution.

When the new team starts functioning, its collective responsibility should be emancipation of people from the pernicious grip of trade and industry that have posed severe threat to environment and eco-systems of the State.

It would be better to keep the future generations of Orissa and their right to the State’s natural resources in mind before squandering them away for touted benefit of only the present generation.

The last Government had done a lot of damage to the contemporary and future generations of Oriyas. Yet, the mandate given to Naveen is with the last hope that his approach may change, good sense may prevail and State terror may end.

With hope against hope that this new government would be pro-people instead of being pro-power, we welcome the new Cabinet.

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The New Orissa Cabinet may be well received

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa’s new Council of Ministers to take oath tomorrow along with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Raj Bhawan, Bhubaneswar may be well received by the people, because, in selecting his new team Mr. Patnaik has jettisoned some such of his colleagues, whose inclusion could have been very embarrassing.

Naveen PatnaikThis is the first time, Mr. Patnaik is believed to have picked up a team of his own choice. And, the choice seems to be an act of application of mind.

The new team will have twelve Cabinet Ministers including the CM and ten Ministers of State.

The Cabinet Ministers will include Dr. Damodar Raut, Debi Prasad Mishra, Jogendra Behera, Bijayashree Rautray, Badrinarayan Patra, Pradeep Maharathi, Bikram Keshari Arukh, Ms. Usha Devi, Pradeep Amat, Puspendra Singhdeo and Lal Bihari Himirika.

Former officer of Indian Information Service Asok Panda, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Arun Sahoo, Sanjay Das Burma, Pranab Prakas Das, Pradeep Panigrahi, Sudam Marandi, Prafulla Mallik, Ramesh Majhi, and Snehangini Chhuria are being taken in as Ministers of State.

Oath is co-terminus: Orissa Governor in illegal incumbency

Subhas chandra Pattanayak

assemblyThe budget session of Orissa Assembly commenced on the Valentine’s Day with M. C. Bhandare reading out his customary address as Governor of Orissa.

As he started addressing the House, he faced protests from the Opposition that culminated into a boycott.
The boycott by the Congress party proceeded from its protest against the insipid address of the Governor, as to it, that was nothing but vomit of the State Government’s vapid versions, aimed at reducing the House podium to a medium of its political propaganda.

But the BJP boycott was against misuse of the Assembly by Bhandare who has lost his legitimacy to address the Assembly.

Bhandare is discernibly the most controversial Governor the state has ever had. When he has failed to act as expected of a Governor in times of need of democracy, he has made mockery of the role of Chancellor of Universities to the detriment of education and embarrassment of educationists.

However, by not leaving the Raj Bhawan on completion of his term in August 2012, he has belittled the dignity of the post of Governor.

He has invoked Art.156 (4) of the Constitution of India which is a proviso to Clause 3 of the Article. It allows the Governor to “continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office”. Bhandari is not entitled to take advantage of this proviso.

From the scheme of this proviso, it is clear that a person may continue in the office of the Governor till his “successor” enters upon his office. This means, when somebody is appointed to become the “successor”, but under certain circumstances he/she is taking time to join, the outgoing person shall continue to hold office during that transit period only. Otherwise, the Governor is to relinquish office at the end of stipulated term of five years, by handing over the charge to the Chief Justice of the State, from whom he/she had taken the oath of office under Art.159.

Both the Articles read together make it unambiguously clear that the Oath of Office a Governor is bound to be administered with at the time joining, is co-terminus with the term of his/her tenure of five years.

It is shocking that Bhandare is continuing as Governor sans a valid oath of office. And, the government of Naveen Patnaik, known for inability to understand the laws and ability to violate the laws, has allowed him to address the Assembly on commencement of its budget session.

Sad, the Legislative Assembly has been used by the State government as a slaughter house of Law relating to the Governor by allowing Bhandare to address it as the Governor when clearly he is in illegal incumbency.