Transforming Odisha – Why Naveen Patnaik is one of the best Chief Ministers India currently has !

When the chief minister of a state belongs to the same party which is ruling at the center, it is almost a very easy ride for the state and its people. Belonging to the same party, the state governments happily implement the programs of central government and do their best to implement it. However, in a country like India where politics has always taken a toll on healthy centre-state relationships when there are opposition parties at the two levels, Shri Naveen Patnaik has been the only Chief Minister who has worked relentlessly for the welfare of his state without involving himself in any kind of politics.

Be it coordinating with the centre on the issues of Railways, Electricity, Industrialisation, Irrigation and infrastructure projects, Shri Naveen Patnaik has always prioritised the development of Odisha and welfare of his people over politics. While states like West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have been thwarting the efforts of centre to start projects in these places, Odisha under the leadership of Shri Naveen Patnaik has shown the true spirit of co-operative federalism.

Following the duty of opposition, Shri Naveen Patnaik and his party BJD have asked right questions to the government at right times whenever the need came, and also extended their full support and cooperation to the central government on the matters of development, internal security and external threats. While many opposition parties were questioning the Prime Minister and asking for proofs of “Surgical strikes”, Shri Naveen Patnaik stood firmly behind the Prime Minister and congratulated the government.

Soon after the surgical strikes on Pakistani terror bases, Narendra Modi’s surgical strikes on black money and corruption by demonetizing higher denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were welcomed by Shri Naveen Patnaik. While Chief Ministers like Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Bannerjee,  Akhilesh Yadav and Congress are vehemently opposing the demonetization (which seems to have hit their stacks of black money) and are inciting people against the government for their political gains, once again Naveen Patnaik showed his statesmanship by welcoming the bold step. He further took all efforts to ensure that people face minimum of inconvenience in his state.

Being a consumer state, Naveen Patnaik and BJD were very appreciative of the GST and always wanted it to pass at the earliest. Even while Congress was blocking it, BJD was in support of the GST as Shri Naveen Patnaik always realised the importance GST will play in changing the future of Odisha.

In how many states that are ruled by opposition parties have you seen a healthy competition between state and centre ? Odisha Government under the leadership of Shri Naveen Patnaik was one of the first to endorse Modi’s Skill India program. On the lines of that, Skilled In Odisha was started to train lakhs of youth in Odisha so that they are talented and skilled to get a job. The program is among one of the most successful in the country. Odisha Skill Development Authority has been established which looks after this.

He has not only maintained excellent relation with the centre, but Shri Naveen Patnaik has worked relentlessly to improve the condition of farmers in the state. Though affected by drought, Odisha government completed the district irrigation plan for all its districts under Pradhanmantri Krishi Sichai Yojana – an achhievement which was acknowledged by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

Odisha had set a target of providing 26 lakh pukka houses to the poor during the 2014 assembly elections. In 2 years, 10 lakh houses have already been constructed and the state government under the leadership of Shri Naveen Patnaik is committed to construct another 16 million houses by 2019.

The government of Odisha has been making tremendous progress in the areas of education, tourism, development of cities and attracting industries to create the much needed jobs. The state government has been inaugurating many quality educational institutes related to various subjects which will go a long way in providing quality education to the youth of Odisha. Odisha is working with full force and supporting centre on doubling/tripling of railway tracks, electrification of villages, providing connectivity to villages and implementing the programs of the central government. The determination of Odisha Government in constructing smart cities have been acknowledged all over the country.

While the opposition parties ridiculed and politicised Narendra Modi’s much ambitious Make in India, Naveen Patnaik was the only leader belonging to opposition party who supported the move of Shri Narendra Modi. Not only that, on the lines of Make In India, Shri Patnaik started Make in Odisha. As of now, almost 2,03,000 crore has been invested in Odisha by various companies which has led to the creation of 1,40,000 jobs. The conclave has been a hugely successful event and many multinational as well as national giants are going to establish industries in the state, which is expected to create a whopping 30 lakh jobs by 2025.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, media has no time to cover a Karma Yogi who is standing high on his ideals and relentlessly working for the people of Odisha. Media may cover the cheap pretty drama of politicians who have nothing substantial achievement under their belt as it increases their TRP, but here is a man who is on his way to transform Odisha into one of the better states in India in next few years. All this is a big achievement for a state which was and is still, reeling under severe poverty, drought and naxalism. However, under the leadership of Shri Naveen Patnaik, Odisha has been steadily on its path to development. If there is a leader who India deserves in future, it is this very man who is changing the definition of how state is ruled and setting prime example of co-operative federalism.

PS – Views expressed are author’s individual views and in no ways, represent the views of Team Postcard.

Kshitij Mohan