24 November, 2020

Women Just Love Him! Why Naveen Patnaik Is Just Unputdownable In Odisha

Naveen Patnaik has been synonymous with politics in Odisha. The Biju Janata Dal leader's relationship with the common man, especially women, has confounded critics and Opposition.

Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
Women Just Love Him! Why Naveen Patnaik Is Just Unputdownable In Odisha

The cracks are showing, for sure. But as the curtains came down on the simultaneous, four-phase  Lok Sabha and ass­embly polls in Odisha last week, the fissures didn’t look wide and deep enough to seriously threaten the fortress that the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has built itself into over the past two decades. The consensus in the state is that the BJP is all set to make some serious gains in the Lok Sabha polls. Remember, it won just one out of 21 in 2014. But when it comes to the assembly, it’s still BJD, though with fewer than the 117 seats it won then. In short, Modi at the Centre; Naveen in Odisha.

Even BJP leaders are admitting as much. “While there is no doubt that the BJD is not quite the force it was in 2014, the spell that Naveen Patnaik has cast on the people hasn’t worn off enough for them to unseat him in the state. We are expecting between 14-17 seats in the Lok Sabha. But in the assembly polls, we would be lucky to go beyond 40,” a BJP leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tells...



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