The Politics in Odisha: from V.K Pandyan

Mr V.K. Pandiyan states the reason why he has decided to join politics and leave the field of bureaucracy is the strong connection with the people of Odisha and the inspiration he draws from the chief minister of the state Mr. Naveen Pattnaik. Pandiyan considers himself a disciple of the chief minister Naveen Patnaik and mentions him as a great soul to be working with.

Mr Naveen Patnaik is soon going to be the longest-serving chief minister in the history of India. He has served the state of Odisha as the chief minister for more than two decades. He had begun his journey when there was the era of newspapers, having such huge popularity and winning elections with repeatedly higher margins and still retaining a pro-incumbency. The popularity rate of Naveen Pattnaik is the highest in the country of any chief minister till now, as he has held high with all the public scrutiny be it media or social media. The major factor behind the success of Naveen Patnaik is he keeps a strong bond and connects with the people foes the work not as politics but as a social service.

The question arises why is a chief minister who is so popular even having discussions on joining an alliance with the BJP the dulling party in the center? The alliance or any such talks only dignified a great deal of statesmanship carried by the two spectacular leaders like Naveen Patnaik and Narendra Modi who intend to serve the people in a better way. Other than this it has no electoral significance as the parties don’t need each other to form the government in their respective place.

Poverty to Prosperity ( P2P) in Odisha; can also be seen as Pattnaik to Pandyan. It has been seen with political parties in India that succession becomes the dicy factor. In the case of BJD, is it V.K. Pandyan who is the obvious political successor of BJD? The man himself states that it is up to the people of Odisha to decide who will succeed the BJD and the great leader Naveen Patnaik.

The people in India have accepted chief ministers or political leaders in the past who have come from a different state tested elections and won in a different state. Such examples are MGR and Jayalalitha coming from outside places and winning people’s hearts. In democratic electoral politics, the people are the ones having the power to decide. People will see the transparency and honesty a leader has for them and the betterment of society.

The policies that the chief minister Naveen Patnaik has launched named KALIA Yojana, BSKY, Mission Shakti etc are mostly considered freebies or reveries, but in other words, one can take this as a responsibility of a welfare state such as health, education, taking care of the food security of the vulnerable people. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has transformed the education system by transforming the public schools by investing in them and making the public schools on par with the private schools. There are about 8, 600 high schools in Odisha. All these high schools have been transformed as they have digital smart boards instead of blackboards, class-wise science labs, modern laboratories, and libraries. The chief minister wanted to make the people of Odisha dream big for their children as 70-80 per cent of the people will always depend on public schools. In health sectors as well public hospitals are transformed with better facilities and equipment than private hospitals. A majority of the population depends on public institutions, so these sectors should be taken care of for the empowerment of the people so that they can have the best access to public institutions.

The Odisha government has made a Shree Mandir corridor project also known as the Jagannath Temple Heritage project and temple restoration projects where around 10, 000 temples have been restored and revived in the state. Whereas, it can be discussed whether a secular government should be a part of the process of restoring the temples. It is the responsibility of the government to honour the faith of the people who have voted the party to power irrespective of their religion. So Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has not only revived the temples but also mosques, churches and many tribal deity shrines as well. Every religious institution irrespective of its diversity holds its culture, tradition, and history and provides inner peace and strength. Here is the government which goes the extra mile to ensure that people’s faith is honoured, so it is a spiritual government rather than calling it a secular one, explains Mr Pandyan.

Odisha and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is very keen on sports, especially hockey. Now the state possesses world-class hockey stadiums in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar. The state has become a big hub of sports and its promotions, particularly by hosting the Hockey World Cups. Once upon a time, about half of the Indian hockey team had players from Odisha. The people of Odisha are in love with hockey and as a sport, it is celebrated in the state. Moreover, the chief minister Naveen Patnaik is a hockey player and a goalkeeper. Hockey as a sport has a deep connection with our Indian freedom movement. When India was not conceived as an independent country and fighting for freedom, then hockey used to bring gold medals to the British – India by representation in the Olympics. Hockey as a sport used to get honour for India in the world forum even before its formation. So there has been an emotional connection between hockey and Naveen Patnaik. The Odisha government sponsors the national hockey team full-fledged.