Surjya; New Speaker

BJD Veteran, Surjya Narayan Patro was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the 16th Odisha Legislative Assembly on 1 June.

The seven-time Lawmaker’s name was proposed by Leader of the House and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and seconded by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keasri Arukha.
There was no other candidate for the post of Speaker, Speaker Protem, Amar Prasad Satpathy said.
Opposition BJP Members were not present in the State Assembly when Mr.Satpathy announced Mr.Patro's name as the Speaker, though one of them entered the House soon after.
Mr.Patro, 70, was escorted to the Speaker's podium by the Chief Minister and Congress Veteran Narasingha Mishra.

"I congratulate the new Speaker," Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik said.
Mr.Mishra said, "We hope the new Speaker will function above political considerations and give protection to the opposition to further strengthen democracy."
"I am happy that the House elected me to the post of the Speaker unanimously. I thank the leader of the House and Chief Minister, and all the MLAs for their cooperation," said Mr.Patro, who became the 22nd Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly.
As the Governing Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has 112 MLAs in the 147-member assembly, the election to the post of Speaker was a mere formality.
While the BJP has 23 MLAs, 09 belonged to the Congress, the CPI(M) bagged one seat and there is an Independent Member.
BJP MLA K Narayan Rao said, "We have not boycotted the Speaker election. Most of the BJP MLAs had been to Delhi to attend the swearing-in of the NDA Government on 30 May 30 and could not return in time to attend the House proceedings today."
Mr.Rao said, "Most of the BJP MLAs had been to Delhi to attend the swearing in ceremony of the NDA government on May 30 and could not return in time."
Mr.Patro was elected to Assembly seven times from Ganjam district. He represented Mohana seat four times and got elected from Digapahandi thrice, including the recently held polls.
He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1990 on Janata Dal ticket from Mohana and continued to win all the elections since then.

Mr.Patro has served as Minister of different departments in the governments headed by Biju Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik. In the previous government, Mr.Patro was Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare and CooperationMinister.

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