Naveen Patnaik – Do You Know ? 5/5 (4)

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Naveen Patnaik, born October 16, 1946, is the Chief Minister of Odisha and the founder of the Biju Janata Dal, a party named after his late father and a former chief minister of the state. Naveen Patnaik was away from politics and Odisha most of his adult life but returned from the US in 1997 following his father’s death. Patnaik joined politics in 1996, after the death of his father, a formidable non-Congress leader and Janata Dal icon, and was elected as a member to the 11th Lok Sabha. Known as Mr Clean, Patnaik has been the chief minister of Odisha since 2009 and is known for making governance transparent and corruption free.

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Naveen Patnaik

Naveen Patnaik is the 14th and incumbent Chief Minister of Odisha. He is the founding chief of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). A man known for his clean politics, Naveen Patnaik is among the most popular chief minister of the state. He has been the CM of Odisha for three consecutive times. Naveen Patnaik has also written three books.

Naveen Patnaik Early Life and Education

Naveen Patnaik was born on 16 October 1946 in Cuttack in a Karana family to Biju Patnaik, former Chief Minister of Odisha, and his Punjabi wife, Gyan. Naveen Patnaik was educated at the prestigious Welham Boys’ School in Dehradun, and later The Doon School.

After that he attended Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, and he qualified for Bachelor of Arts degree. Patnaik is a writer and had for most part of his youth been away from both politics and Odisha, but after his father Biju Patnaik’s demise, he entered politics in 1997 and a year later founded the Biju Janata Dal, named after Biju Patnaik, which won the state election with the BJP as its alliance and formed the government in which Patnaik became Chief Minister.

His mild mannerism, “Stand against corruption” and “Pro-poor policies” have resulted in the development of a huge support base in Odisha, which has voted him to power in the last four consecutive terms. Like his father, he has managed to control the bureaucracy and transformed it into a machine for the development of the state.

Naveen Patnaik Personal Life

Naveen Patnaik has maintained a publicly austere lifestyle, dressing in simple traditional Oriya clothes and avoiding luxuries. Naveen Patnaik always said

“Simplicity has its own power which connects to the masses. In the words of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, truth and simplicity are self-maintained without any cost. Simplicity is paramount in public life. It should be our motto in life”

Naveen Patnaik Political Career

Naveen Patnaik despite coming from a political family, he stayed away from active politics for most of his life. It was only after his father Biju Patnaik passed away in 1997 that Naveen Patnaik finally had to follow his father’s path and join active politics.

Naveen Patnaik was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from Aska Parliamentary Constituency in the by-elections. He became a member of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Steel & Mines, Member of Standing Committee on Commerce, and Member, Library Committee of Parliament.

The very next year, in 1998, Naveen Patnaik went on to found a party of his own called Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Along with its political ally BJP, BJD did well and Naveen Patnaik was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha again from the Aska Parliamentary Constituency.

Naveen Patnaik was handed the portfolio of the Union Minister of Mines in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and served the post for another two years before he was finally elected as the Odisha Chief Minister for the first time in March 2000.

During his first stint as the state’s CM, Naveen Patnaik followed clean politics and did not hesitate to axe the corrupt bureaucrats and political stalwarts alike. This resulted in a steep rise in Patnaik’s popularity amongst the masses.

Naveen Patnaik again went on to be appointed as the Chief Minister of the state for the second time in 2004 when the alliance of BJD and BJP won the state legislative Assembly elections.

But in his second term as the CM, Naveen Patnaik had had to face a tough test. After the 2007-08 communal riots in the Kandhamal district of Odisha, the differences between the BJD and the BJP became apparent and started to widen further. It was alleged that the massacre was an act of Hindu extremist groups like the RSS and Bajrang Dal etc.

In the wake of the 2009 Parliamentary elections and Odisha Assembly elections, BJD joined the ranks of the emergent Third Front led largely by the leftist parties. Though, he was accused by the BJP of betraying them, Patnaik made a statement saying that his alliance with the BJP was a mistake.

Naveen Patnaik and his BJD went onto registering a resounding victory in both Parliamentary as well as in Assembly elections 2009. The BJD took hold of 14 out of 21 Parliamentary seats of the state and 103 of 147 Odisha assembly seats. Consequently, Naveen Patnaik was elected to head the state government for a third consecutive time.

2014 proved to be a repeat of the 2009 for BJD in both the Parliamentary and Assembly elections. But it registered even better numbers this time around. Naveen Patnaik’s BJD marginally missed out on registering the perfect score having won 20 of 21 Lok Sabha and 117 of 147 assembly seats.

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