Nation First News: Contrary to what his critics said and propagated, BJP stalwart Dharmendra Pradhan has emerged stronger in Modi Sarkar 2.0 by retaining the most powerful Petroleum & Natural Gas (P&NG) portfolio and adding another key portfolio Steel to his kitty. On the other hand, none from Odisha managed to get a Cabinet rank. Even Jual Oram was dropped and Pratap Sarangi was inducted as a MoS.
Dharmendra Pradhan, who led the implementation PM Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), has been one of the most favourite Ministers of Modi-Shah duo, thanks to the impact the scheme made across India. PMUY turned out to be a major game changer for Modi Government and Dharmendra Pradhan was credited with its successful implementation.
When it comes to Odisha, even his bitter critics admitted that Dharmendra invested most his time and energy in Odisha, which eventually helped the BJP grow in the State. Although there has been a lot of criticism to his style of functioning, nobody can deny that he brought more projects and central allocation to Odisha as compared to previous regimes in the past. He also gave due recognition to eminent personalities and legends of Odisha.
A section within the BJP as well as his critics were dismissive of his work and thought he would lose the favour of Modi-Shah duo in Modi Sarkar 2.0 after not-so-impressive performance in Assembly polls (although BJP gained in Lok Sabha polls and also became the main opposition party in Odisha). However, that did not happen. The message from the recent portfolio allocation was loud and clear. Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him. He is here to stay and may get more powerful too.
It would be interesting to see what steps he would take in the coming days to bring unity in Odisha BJP and do course correction to build the party further so that it goes beyond the primary opposition status.