Bhubaneswar, June 9

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday dropped Higher Education Minister Rohit Pujari from the council of ministers.

The Chief Minister has recommended Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal to drop Pujari from ministry, sources said.

Cooperation and Food Supplies iamp; Consumer Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak has been given the additional charge of the Higher Education portfolio.

While holding annual review meetings, Patnaik found the performance of the Higher Education department at the bottom of all departments. That could be a reason behind the dropping of Pujari, the source said.

However, the exact reason behind the removal is yet to be revealed by the ruling party.

Recently, Pujari was dragged into a controversy over his remark on senior leaders above 60 years of age. He had stated that those leaders, who are above 60 years, should not be made MLA as they will not be able to give proper time to the constituency and people.

For the first time, Pujari was inducted as a Minister of State (independent charge) in June last year. He also served as the deputy chief whip in the Odisha Assembly from 2014 to 2022.

Notably, last month only Patnaik had effected a minor reshuffle in his cabinet by inducting three new ministers.

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