Bhubaneswar, May 26: BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik was today formally elected as leader of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislature party at a meeting here in the party office.
Senior party leader Bikram Arukh proposed the name of Patnaik as the leader of the BJD and all the 112 MLAs elected in the just concluded Assembly election, seconded and supported the proposal.
Patnaik later told newsmen that he was grateful to the party MLAs that they have elected him as party leader.
Soon after Patnaik was elected as the leader of the BJD he went to Raj Bhawan and met Governor Ganeshi Lal to stake his claim to form the next government.
He also submitted a list of 112 MLAs who supported his election as party leader. The ruling BJD had captured 112 seats in the 147 member State Assembly in the election.
Party sources said Patnaik will take the oath as the Chief Minister of Odisha for the fifth consecutive term at IDCO Exhibition Ground here on May 29.
This will be the first time that the oath taking ceremony will be held outside the Governor house. The BJD supremo also today chaired the party parliamentary board meeting at his residence Naveen Nivas where all the newly elected 12 MPs were present.
Patnaik asked the newly elected MPs to work hard with a team spirit and fight for the cause of the state in the Lok Sabha. Briefing newsmen after the meeting, BJD Berhampur Lok Sabha seat member Chandra Sekhar Sahu said the meeting has decided to raise the special category status demand to the state, more fund for the natural calamities and 33 per cent reservation for women in both the Parliament and Legislative Assembly.
Sahu said the BJD MPs will ensure that the bill 33 per cent reservation for women in the Parliament and Legislative Assembly be passed in the Parliament. UNI