Bhubaneswar: Following the resignation of Agriculture and Panchayati Raj minister Pradeep Maharathy from his post on Sunday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has given additional charge of these two portfolios to his two senior ministers.
While Finance minister Sashi Bhusan Behera has been given the additional charge of Agriculture and Animal Resources Development (ARD), SC and ST Development minister Ramesh Majhi will remain in additional charge of Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water.
Maharathy resigned on Sunday afternoon, in what he said an attempt to protect his party’s image. The opposition had been baying for his blood for his controversial statement following the acquittal of two brothers in the Pipili gang rape and murder case.
This apart, since the BJD had been wooing the women voters with Mission Shakti convention and women quota ahead of the ensuing Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the case and his statements were hurting the party prospects.
This was for the second time that Maharathy lost ministership over the Pipili case.