Bhaskar Parichha

Naveen wins

Naveen Patnaik is taking over as Chief Minister for the fifth time along with a new cabinet. Now that a new government is in place, people will have lots of expectations – if not big, at least of the same fervor as they had been. Unquestionably, the responsibility and answerability of the Naveen government has increased substantially after the massive mandate.


Two things stand out clearly in the new government.One, Naveeen has to hand over some of his responsibilities –particularly of  the party he heads –to more trusted lieutnants. Given his age and  the fact that he is not keeping well, managing both the party and the government single handedly will be extremely difficult.


Naveen may feel himself full of life and jest. But his facade gives a diverse impression. Two, the bureaucracy needs to be toned up. Not much can be expected from day to day governance if the administration is run under the same surroundings. With the bureaucratic set-up fixed, the working environment has to improve and the new government should be free from glitches.

Right away, there is a complex of issues for the new government to engage in on a priority basis, and the problems the government has inherited are too many. During his fourth term and in the run up to the 2019 assembly elections, the BJD government had launched several schemes for the poorer sections of the society .Some of those schemes were not only ludicrous, nobody owned them up.


This overkill of the programmes launched relentlessly has to stop. The new government should rather cut back on the schemes and make them more reachable. Downsizing of the schemes is vital because during the preceding five years the BJD government had been deficient in rigid implementation of the schemes. That shouldn’t be happening again.


The next five years will be challenging because of the fact that the state has some inherent difficulties and the new government has to troubleshoot them. Besides natural disasters, there are various other socio-economic issues that need to be handled on an urgent basis.

the Naveen government in its fifth avatar has to thing along political space at the center. No confrontation will help it in achieving the state’s demands. Naveen’s ingenuity and cunning political skills will really be on test in the next one year.


One big challenge for the new government is rehabilitation of the Fani-victims and putting the state back on the track. Fani has had a harsh impact on the state’s precious infrastructure and this has to be rebuilt without further loss of time. As there was a care-taker government in the state following Fani, the government couldn’t do much. With the new government in place, the foremost task is to prepare the regular budget.


This budget assumes significance because of the cyclone damage which has provisionally been put at twelve thousand crores.Rebuilding the infrastructure will not only need bigger efforts but also bigger sums. Then, there is the need to take the rural citizens into confidence – particularly those devastated by hurricane Fani.Anticipating that another Fani may hit the state in the next five years, disaster preparedness should be on the top agenda. A long-term plan for cyclone resistance should be on the cards of the new government.

One big persistent problem of the rural hinterland is droughts and scarcity of drinking water. To obviate this, more areas should be brought under irrigation. The upcoming budget needs to take care of this.



In the past five years there has been mindless spending by the government and the state is reeling under severe debt. Once famous for better financial management, Odisha has of late been badly doing in the economy front. The government’s debt has touched a lakh crores which is worrisome. How the new finance minister strikes a balance between spending and revenue needs to be looked at. Prudent Financial management is the need of the hour.



The two most key issues for the new government is Mahanadi and Polavaram.While one is hopeful of a satisfactory resolution from the apex court, the incumbent government has to chalk out plans to save the Mahanadi River on a priority basis. With the political scenario changing and with a Congress government in the saddles in Chhatisgarh, much will depend on the union government’s stance towards opponent states in regard to inter-state disputes.

Modi - Naveen


Following the 2019 election results, the BJD government’s equal-distance theory has run out its course and the Naveen government has to think in terms of cooperation with the Modi government at the centre.Naveen has always been emphasizing on Odisha’s interest and hasn’t ever taken a softer line when it came to  centre-state relations. Even in the first meeting of the BJD legislators where he was elected leader, Naveen has abundantly sounded about Odisha’s demand of special category state. How vociferous this demand will be in the coming days has to be watched, particularly in the face of Modi government getting more than an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and not depending on anybody’s support. Much will of course depend on the Modi government’s approach towards non- BJP states.

All said and done, the Naveen government in its fifth avatar has to thing along political space at the centre. No confrontation will help it in achieving the state’s demands. Naveen’s ingenuity and cunning political skills will really be on test in the next one year.