Leadership With Charm

by Akankshya Mahapatra

Dr Byomakesh Ray, MLA, Chandbali & President, Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD)

A dynamic youth leader with unblemished credentials in public service, Dr Byomakesh Ray has twice been elected as the legislator from Chandbali assembly constituency in Balasore. He also helms the Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD).

Hailing from a middle-class family, Ray did his schooling from Matru Bhaban School, Cuttack and his graduation from Ravenshaw College and MA from Utkal University. Going against the wishes of his family, Ray joined politics and has been able to carve a niche for himself, first as a student leader and then as an MLA.

“I hail from a typical Odia middle-class family where parents want that their sons and daughter to go for a government job and not venture into the world of politics, which is full of uncertainties. So, I would certainly have tried to land a government job if I were not a politician”, Ray once said.

He credits all his success in politics to the charismatic BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. “We have grown up seeing Naveen babu since our childhood. We have noticed how a regional party has grown and strengthened its base under him. Our party and Naveen babu believe in Biju babu’s ideology. Naveen babu is working hard to translate Biju babu’s dream into reality. We will call upon students to help realise this dream”, Ray says.

Dr. Ray with CM Naveen Pattnaik in a special moment

“Naveen babu came to power just a few days after the super cyclone had wreaked havoc in the state in 2000. Under his leadership, the administration faced the situation successfully. Later, he handled Phailin and Hud Hud and won appreciation from all over”, he adds.

He believes that no political party should interfere in the elections of colleges. “The Lyngdoh Commission is of the view that no political party should directly participate in the elections. We follow the rules strictly. Those who believe in Biju Patnaik’s ideology and Naveen’s leadership were fighting elections on their own and not on the party symbol. We had just lent them our support”.

“Since the students are over 18 years of age and can take their own decisions, they should be allowed to contest elections. We have to follow the Lyngdoh Commission’s recommendation in a positive spirit. Many leaders, including our minister Arun Sahoo and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan are products of students’ politics”, Ray opined.

Project Tahasil Office, Chandabali

As the head of the party’s youth organization, he realizes that unemployment is a major problem afflicting the state economy. “Before Naveen Patnaik came to power in 2000, the Congress government had signed a MoU with the UK’s department for international development that prohibited direct employment by the state government for 10 years. Besides, the economy was in bad shape. Now efforts are being made to provide employment by filling up the vacancies of various departments in a phased manner”.

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