By Nilambar Rath
Bhubaneswar, 21st May, 2016: Naveen Patnaik Government in Odisha completes 2nd year in its 4th term, today. Mr. Patnaik, the Supremo of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and elected from Hinjili constituency, had taken oath of office on 21st May, 2014 as the CM in the fourth time, consecutively, breaking all previous records. His Govt. completes 16 years in power demonstrating as one of the stable administration in the country, currently run by a regional party.
Mr. Patnaik became the Chief Minister of Odisha in 5th March, 2000 as the leader of BJD-BJP coalition Govt. Again, the coalition came to power in 2004 election and Naveen was sworn in as the CM for the 2nd time. However, the coalition could not continue in 2009 elections where BJD decided to go alone and again demonstrated a huge strength in the assembly having 103 out of 147. Naveen Patnaik took over as the CM for the 3rd time on 21st May, 2009.
Election – 2014 was certainly a tough time for all leading parties in Odisha because when Naveen led Biju Janata Dal was trying to retain power both BJP and Congress were in the race to improvise their strength on the assembly floor. Especially, with Modi as the poster-boy and the key campaigner, BJP was confident of gaining ground substantially. There was a perception even discussion among certain sections of media and intelligentsia that BJD would lose some ground and face challenge due to anti- incumbency. But to their surprise, Naveen Babu could not only retain his throne but also showcased a landslide victory. BJD with a number of 117, out of 147, again pushed the oppositions to the corner. In the election when Congress dropped down to 16 seats (27 seats, 2009), BJP limited its score to 10 seats only. NAMO wave which changed the mathematics at the center did not work against Naveen’s charisma in Odisha!
Naveen Babu and his government continued to become popular among the masses due to many populist schemes including Re.1 per kilo rice. Among his other popular schemes includes ‘Aahar Yojana’ which offers lunch to common people at Rs.5. In Naveen’s Government the people in administration seem to be more powerful than the people’s representatives! However, this allegation has proved no fruit as far as the popularity of Naveen among the common mass is concerned.
The first 2 years of the fourth term have not become a bed of roses with stiff criticism from both BJP and Congress. Especially, with the emergence of BJP at the center and the party(BJP) trying to strengthen ground in the State, Naveen has been facing the pressure. However, it seems his govt. and his party in particular, has become more cautious and preparing from inside to fight back on the ground in the future.
BJP has been constantly aspiring to gain in the power politics in Odisha for last four elections. In 2000, as a partner of Naveen led BJD-BJP government BJP had 38 number of seats in assembly. In the subsequent election i.e. 2004, it had got 32. In 2009, after the break up, though BJP was dying to improve it’s position and give a good fight to BJD but it failed miserably with only 6 seats in hand. Similarly, in 2014 elections, the roaring BJP had to satisfy itself with 10 seats only. With this backdrop, and the hall of Congress citadel in the country it is BJP which will work hard to give a checkmate to Naveen in the future fights!
However Naveen Patnaik seems to be a silent politician who always try to hit sixes to the googly of Opposition!
(Watch the CM taking Oath taking Video at OdishaLIVE )