By Charan Singh
Odisha was shrouded in a pall of gloom when the son of the soil, Biju Patnaik(Naveen kindles Biju Flame for Resurgent Odisha) left for his heavenly abode in April 1997. The light that illuminated the state for decades extinguished though it permanently kindled a flame of hope for his Odia brethren. But it was no ordinary light, for it had to come back in some other form. The bereavement induced by this colossal tragedy shell shocked Odisha.
Then, the distraught Patnaik family found a consoling shoulder in former Prime Minister I.K.Gujaral. Inspired by the ideals of his father, former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik(Naveen kindles Biju Flame for Resurgent Odisha) and at the behest of I.K.Gujaral, Shri Naveen Patnaik plunged into Odisha politics by contesting the Lok Sabha by-election and winning it comprehensively.
Even though it meant relinquishing the razzmatazz of Lutyens Delhi, lavish lifestyle in New York and abjuring Page 3 parties, Mr.Patnaik immersed himself in the mundane day-to-day affairs of uplifting the people of Odisha since then.
What ensued is a transformed Odisha proclaiming its arrival in the national and international scene. Odisha saw the birth of a new political party – Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in 2000 headed by Mr Patnaik.
Understanding the nuances of politics in the nascent stage of his political career, Mr Patnaik(Naveen kindles Biju Flame for Resurgent Odisha) has been maintaining the clean image even though it required him to defenestrate some of his own colleagues seeped in corruption. Thus, he enjoys the unwavering faith of the voters.
Being the astute and sapient player on the political chessboard, he shows such dexterity that almost all his moves have yielded remarkable results.
Odisha was staring at poverty and higher infant mortality rate when Mr.Patnaik took over as the Chief Minister. Ignominy followed as the pundits of economy wrote Odisha off.
Triggered by the state of urgency, headed by Naveen Patnaik(Naveen kindles Biju Flame for Resurgent Odisha), the entire state machinery swung into action which propelled Odisha to grow at about 8 per cent.
Creating a conducive climate for investments, the state government claims the fame of attracting a record 18 per cent of total investment in the country as per CMIE data 2019.
Branding is at the fulcrum of creating perception. Under Naveen’s(Naveen kindles Biju Flame for Resurgent Odisha) leadership, the state government tasted amazing success after organizing Hockey World Cup 2018, making Bhubaneswar, the cynosure of Hockey afficionados.
Not leaving any stone unturned, the state government has also been working diligently to make Odisha a tourism hub by reviving the showpiece Shamuka tourism project first conceptualised during Biju babu’s tenure. These two mega-events amply showcase the power and potential of Brand Odisha.
At the same time by showing empathy to the poor, the state government headed by Patnaik(Naveen kindles Biju Flame for Resurgent Odisha) launched some remarkable social welfare measures.
Among the many social welfare measures what stands out is the famous KALIA scheme which guarantees rights of even sharecroppers besides offering an expansive safety net for the distressed farmers.
Realizing quickly that Odisha is prone to natural disasters, Naveen launched a programme to build resilience and mitigate the intensity of loss and zero casualties in future disasters.
It became the ideal modus operandi for other disaster-prone states to emulate. So much so that it has caught the attention of the U.N. The alacrity that Odisha government is showing in handling the Covid-19 crisis, the whole world is panegyric about it.
This reflects the robust leadership at the top. Eulogizing the effort of the Odisha government, the adman and marketing maven Suhel Seth went on to tweet “What Odisha thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”.
Governed by the mantra of ‘Perform or Perish’, Naveen Patnaik rolled out the most ambitious project MO SARKAR (My Government) based on five parameters – teamwork, technology, transparency, transformation and time limit (the 5Ts). It will go a long way in bridging the gap between people and the government.
This indeed is creating ripples in the state as it could be the next masterstroke of Mr.Patnaik(Naveen kindles Biju Flame for Resurgent Odisha). When you have the right intention and a heart in the right place, recognition and milestones are the natural outcomes.
The national magazine OUTLOOK, gauging the positive impact of Naveen Patnaik’s policies and leadership, conferred upon him the prestigious Outlook Speakout Award-2017 for the best administrator in the country.
Reticent and sometimes aloof, Naveen Patnaik(Naveen kindles Biju Flame for Resurgent Odisha) knows very well that his father left behind an immense shoe to fill yet his father would have been a happy man to see the glorious feathers on his embellished cap.