Bhubaneswar: As the swearing-in-ceremony of Narendra Modi government at the Centre is going to held on Thursday, speculations are rife about who from Odisha is going to be found place in the Modi2.0 cabinet.

India Whispers was told by sources in the BJP that the saffron party’s state president Basant Panda is going to be inducted in the Central cabinet as minister of state. Panda, under whose leadership the party has exhibited excellent performance in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, is considered to be the favourite of the prime minister.

Panda had given the party a spectacular performance in the 2017 panchayat elections and now in the Lok Sabha elections. From a poisition of remote third, Panda has catapulted the party to second position in the state. In state assembly too, the party become the main opposition party with 24 MLAs in the 147 state assembly. By roamping 8 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats, Panda, who has came out as victorious in Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat, has made a place for himself in the party’s Delhi circle.

Names of party MPs from Odisha like Sangita Singhdeo, Aparajit Sarangi, Suresh Pujhari and Pratap Sarangi are also doing round for the union ministership. While Sangita is the third time MP and a women leader from western Odisa, Aparajita has won the all important Bhubaneswar seat though a first timer. Aparajita, the former IAS officers is known to be having some link in the PMO is hectically lobbying for the ministerial berth. Suresh is the national general secretary who was saha prabhari of the party in West Bengal and Pratap Sarangi is a leader from RSS back ground.

However, India Whispers overheard that BJP’s all important leader from Odisha, Dharmendra Pradhan, and party’s prabhari in the state Arun Singh are backing the name of Basanta Panda, the saffron kurta clad leader known for his simplicity and discipline, for the union cabinet.