Naveen Patnaik seems to be losing the plot after two decades

Naveen Patnaik

It is a common saying in Odisha that, “You must be a Patnaik to be in politics”. This shows the kind of impact Chief ministers like Biju Patnaik, Janaki Ballabh Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik’s rule has had on the quite state of Odisha.

After the long career of 23 Years in power, finally Anti-Incumbency is catching up to Patnaik. The 78-year-old, is looking very frail post 2019 and his hold on the Biju Janata Dal is sleeping slowly into the hands of VK Pandian, the controversial IAS officer, for which BJP local leaders are not happy.

BJD infighting due to Power centralization at Pandian and the corruption allegations are one cause of worry for the stalwart. Apart from the political turmoil in Odisha, Drugs issue is a serious concern that the local youth is facing.

Odisha becoming a Drugs Hub

Recently, Cocaine worth 200 crores was seized from Paradip port. This drug bust was nothing new to Odisha In the highest-ever drug seizure in Odisha. This 22 kilogram cocaine is nothing if we add up the number of drug busts in the state. While the port areas have become hub for drug trafficker, the border areas are a major hub of cannabis and the western Odisha is already in news for the illicit liquor business.

Even Small towns and villages of Odisha, are reeling under the rampant drug use. There are instances of young men as old as 16 dying due to drug overuse.

The desi Liquor (Naveen Pouch)

The recent I-T raid on Bolangir based Liquor mafia, unearthed 353 crore cash. Though the money belonged to Congress MP from Jharkhand Deeraj Sahu, the fact that all this was going on under the nose of BJD can’t be denied.

Since BJD came to power, little have they done to curb illicit liquor. More so, the liquor is popularly known as Naveen Pouch. BJP has launched a serious campaign in the state alleging, the liquor money trail goes through the Bhubaneswar power block.

Corruption charges

The corruption allegations are nothing new to BJD but after 5 terms in power, the number of allegations are finally piling up to a tipping point. Major corruption allegations are the following.

  • Overpriced purchase of CCTV cameras
  • Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Mismanagement of funds
  • ‘Ama Odisha-Nabin Odisha’ funds
  • Mo Gaon-Mo Bikash
  • Bribe culture at Government offices
  • 5T fund allocation

Public outrage on apathy

Odisha from time to time has been featuring in news due to failure of Government in providing apathy to public. May it be an old man carrying his dead wife on his shoulders or an old woman taken on a wooden cot to the get her pension from bank. The viral videos are so regular that people have stopped noticing it as a government failure and started treating it as reels.

The issue is so much that, some of the border villages of Odisha have started taking welfare scheme benefits from neighboring states like Andhra Pradesh.

Infrastructural failure

As far as public infrastructure is concerned, Odisha has a problem of stalled projects for decades now. The road infrastructure and connectivity through bridges are a primary issue. Many roads that have been started in the early 2000s are not yet complete. The Odisha that you see on Instagram and the reality are poles apart. This is going to be a major issue in 2024 elections. Almost every district has such projects that are under construction for decades.

Mismanagement of Sri Jagannath temple

Lord Jagannath is the primary deity and soul of Odia people. The Puri Temple is the abode of the Lord and the center of faith for Odia’s and Hindus. The state Government’s interference in the management of the temple is another issue that is not going well with Odisha’s public.

The new Jagannath Temple Heritage corridor built by BJD government is already under scanner for corruption charges. Another major issue is the special treatment for celebrities, and for which many times in the recent past the sacred rituals of the Jagannath temple has been tampered with.  

Party Leadership

It is a commonly used topic in Odisha political circles, that Naveen Patnaik’s health is not good, and the party might break in near future. Naveen Patnaik’s staying away from media, uncomfortable gestures in public meetings and directives from closed door meetings are major indications of him not in the right shape to rule.

Also Read: Putting An End To Speculations VK Pandian Joins BJD Officially

Massive Unemployment

The unemployment issue is a long standing issue in Odisha but the public seemed to be not taking it seriously as no such opposition was there to pick this topic up. Unemployed youth has no leadership in the state of Odisha. Parties like Congress, BJP, CPI, CPM, and AAP has failed in addressing the aspirations on unemployed youth. The rising unemployment rate and the increasing migration of youth, is a major issue that needs to be answered by the politicians and people alike.

In the upcoming assembly elections, BJD has much to take care of as a political party and has more than that to answer the public. Will Naveen Patnaik be able to ail through again!

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