Odisha gets tribal CM in Mohan Charan Majhi, 2 deputy CMs

KV Singh Deo and Pravati Parida were made deputy chief ministers.
Odisha Chief Minister designate Mohan Manjhi meets Governor Raghubar Das to formally stake claim to form government in the state, in Bhubaneswar, Tuesday, June 11, 2024.
Odisha Chief Minister designate Mohan Manjhi meets Governor Raghubar Das to formally stake claim to form government in the state, in Bhubaneswar, Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

Bhubaneswar | BJP's tribal leader and four-time MLA Mohan Charan Majhi will be the new chief minister of Odisha, where the saffron party came to power for the first time with a clear mandate in assembly elections, ending the 24-year stint of BJD.

Announcing the name of Majhi, a surprise pick, Union minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said six-time legislator Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo and Pravati Parida, a debutant MLA, have been made deputy chief ministers.

The decisions were taken at the BJP legislature party meeting, which unanimously chose 52-year-old Majhi as its leader. Singh and Union minister Bhupender Yadav attended the meeting as central observers.

Majhi will succeed Naveen Patnaik, the BJD supremo.

Soon after being elected as the leader of the BJP Legislature Party, Majhi called on Governor Raghubar Das and staked claim to form government in the state.

Sources said Majhi handed over a letter of support of 81 MLAs - 78 of BJP and three Independents - to the Governor who invited him to form the government.

"Delighted to announce that Shri Mohan Charan Majhi has been elected unanimously as the leader of Odisha BJP Legislature Party. He is a young and dynamic party karyakarta who will take the state forward on road to progress and prosperity as the new Chief Minister of Odisha. Many congratulations to him," Singh said on X.

The chief whip of the BJP in the previous assembly, he was elected to the assembly in recently held elections for the fourth time. He defeated Mina Majhi of the BJD from the Keonjhar assembly constituency.

According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leaders are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Majhi government on Wednesday at Janata Maidan at 4.55 pm.

The BJP won 78 seats in the 147-member Odisha Assembly, while the BJD bagged 51.

Majhi is the third tribal chief minister of Odisha after Congress's Hemananda Biswal and Giridhar Gamang.

The tribal leader, who kicked off his political career as a village sarpanch nearly three decades ago, hailed from Raikala village in the tribal-dominated and mineral-rich Keonjhar district. The son of a watchman, he was elected to the assembly for the first time in 2000.

The BJP's selection of the chief minister and deputy CMs indicated the party's strategy to maintain a regional balance. Majhi comes from Keonjhar in northern Odisha, while Deo and Parida belong to the western and coastal regions of the state respectively.

Deo is the titular head of the erstwhile royal family of Patnagarh (now Bolangir), while Pravati Parida is a lawyer. She will be the first woman deputy chief minister of the state.

The Raj Bhavan in a statement said, “The Governor has appointed Shri Mohan Charan Majhi as the Chief Minister. The new Council of Ministers, along with two Deputy Chief Ministers, headed by Shri Mohan Charan Majhi will be sworn-in at the Janata Maidan, Bhubaneswar at 4.55 PM on 12.6.2024.”

The BJD and the BJP were in alliance for 11 years between 1998 and 2009 and fought three Lok Sabha and two Assembly elections together.

Patnaik severed ties with the saffron party ahead of the 2009 general elections, months after a riot in Kandhamal the previous year.

Mohan Charan Majhi
Mohan Charan Majhi

Mohan Majhi: From village sarpanch to Odisha CM

Bhubaneswar | Mohan Charan Majhi, BJP's tribal leader who was named the 15th chief minister of Odisha, kicked off his political career as a village sarpanch nearly three decades ago.

Hailing from Raikala village in the tribal-dominated and mineral-rich Keonjhar district, Majhi (52), the son of a watchman, has been elected to the Odisha assembly on four occasions – 2000, 2004, 2019 and 2024.

Majhi, a graduate, was the village head from 1997-2000. He was also the secretary of the BJP's Adivasi Morcha before being elected as an MLA from Keonjhar in 2000.

In the 2024 assembly elections, he retained the Keonjhar seat by defeating BJD’s Mina Majhi. He was the opposition chief whip in the previous Odisha assembly, countering the BJD government on several key issues.

In his first reaction after he was named the CM, Majhi said: “Due to the blessings of Lord Jagannath, the BJP achieved majority in Odisha and is going to form the government in the state. I would like to thank the 4.5 crore Odias who voted for change.”

Majhi also asserted that the BJP will honour the trust of the people of Odisha.

Scripting a historic win, the saffron party had stormed to power in the state, bagging 78 out of the 147 assembly seats.

The chief minister’s swearing-in ceremony will be held at the Janata Maidan here on Wednesday.

BJP MLA Mohan Manjhi who has been chosen as the new Chief Minister of Odisha.
BJP MLA Mohan Manjhi who has been chosen as the new Chief Minister of Odisha.

Mohan Majhi 3rd tribal CM of Odisha

Bhubaneswar | BJP leader Mohan Charan Majhi became the third tribal chief minister of Odisha after Giridhar Gamang and Hemananda Biswal of the Congress.

Odisha got a tribal chief minister after over 24 years.

Biswal, the first tribal to be at the helm of Odisha, was the chief minister twice.

The Congress leader was at the top post first for the period between December 7, 1989, to March 5, 1990. He became the CM again on December 6, 1999, while this stint ended on March 5, 2000.

Biswal was a six-time MLA who also represented Sundergarh Constituency in the Lok Sabha.

In his second stint, Biswal replaced Gamang who was the chief minister from February 17, 1999, to December 6 of the same year.

Gamang was also elected to the Lok Sabha nine times between 1972 and 2004.

Majhi, a tribal BJP leader, was named the chief minister after the party stormed to power defeating the BJD which was ruling the state for 24 years.

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