The Bharatiya Janata Party has chosen Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union minister for petroleum and natural gas, to be its chief ministerial candidate in Odisha, PTI quoted senior party leader Jual Oram as saying on Tuesday.

Oram, the Union minister for tribal affairs, made the announcement on the sidelines of former Indian Administrative Service officer Aparajita Sarangi’s induction into the saffron party.

“Our aim is to unseat Naveen Patnaik and put an end to the rule of non-Odia bureaucrats,” Oram said.

The announcement ends speculation about the BJP pitching Sarangi as its chief ministerial candidate. Oram said Sarangi has joined the party as a primary member.

Odisha is expected to hold Assembly and general elections concurrently in 2019.