Odisha: BJD leader Subash Chauhan appointed WODC chairperson | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com

timesofindia.indiatimes.com

BHUBANESWAR: The state government on Wednesday appointed senior BJD leader Subash Chauhan as chairperson of the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC), said an official communication.
Though the notification on Chauhan’s appointment is yet to be issued, sources said the head of the WODC enjoys the status and rank of a minister of state.
Chauhan had joined the ruling party months before the elections after resigning from the BJP as the saffron party had denied him ticket for the Bargarh Lok Sabha segment.
“I thank the chief minister for giving me the important responsibility. I will work towards development of the western districts and try to work in coordination with all the elected representatives of the region,” Chauhan told TOI in his reaction.
A native of Bargarh district, Chauhan was a former national convener of Bajrang Dal and worked as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak. He had lost the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Bargarh Parliamentary constituency by a margin of 11,178 votes on a BJP ticket.
BJD insiders said Chauhan was one of the aspirant for the Bijepur byelection, the seat vacated by chief minister Naveen Patnaik after retaining his traditional Hinjili assembly constituency.
“As the Election Commission of India is expected to issue notification for the Bijepur byelection, chief minister Naveen Patnaik seems to have cleared confusion by appointing Chauhan as the WODC chief. It is now clear that someone else will be BJD candidate from Bijepur,” said a senior BJD leader requesting anonymity.
Chauhan’s appointment also came on a day when the BJD president also formed an election coordination committee for the Bijepur byelection with members like senior ministers Niranjan Pujari and Susanta Singh and senior leaders like Kalikesh Singh Deo and Sanjay Das Burma.
The leaders would soon visit Bijepur to take stock of the situation on the ground and to hold meeting with constituency level leaders. The committee would also finalize candidate for the byelection.
On his wish to contest the Bijpeur byelection, Chauhan said he is a disciplined member of the party and work as per the direction of the party president.
With headquarters at the state capital, the WODC works for overall socio-economic upliftment and educational and cultural development of 10 western districts like Bargarh, Balangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Sundargarh and parts of Angul.
With total 26 members including the chairperson, the state government annually grants Rs 100 crore for the WODC to carry out different activities. In the absence of a political head, the council is being headed by a bureaucrat– development commissioner Suresh Mohapatra.



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