Rebuilding coastal Odisha first test for five-time CM

Naveen Patnaik to be sworn-in as Chief Minister today

Winning five successive elections is no mean feat for any political party or leader, but the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and its president Naveen Patnaik managed to do just that.

Major challenges are awaiting Mr. Patnaik, who will be sworn-in as Chief Minister for the fifth consecutive term on Wednesday.

Mr. Patnaik has to rebuild coastal Odisha, which was badly ravaged by Cyclone Fani on May 3, days after completion of the fourth and last phase of polling in the State.

He faced a similar situation after assuming power for the first time in March 2000, a few months after a super-cyclone hit the State.

For a change, Mr. Patnaik has to deal with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre to get the State’s demands fulfilled while facing the saffron party as the main Opposition party in Odisha. The Congress was the main Opposition in the State since 2000.

Mr. Patnaik has already said that his new government will have constructive cooperation with the Centre for implementation of its new programmes as well as ongoing schemes.

BJP main Opposition

Regarding the BJP as the main Opposition in the State, Mr. Patnaik may not face any major hurdles since his party leaders claim that the BJP’s vote share had increased in the recently held polls primarily due to the failure of the Congress to strengthen its position.

Some senior BJD leaders claimed that the BJP will not be able to maintain its current strength and will face the same situation it had after the 2009 elections.

The BJP had inducted about 30 leaders into its fold from other parties before the 2009 elections, but most of them quit the party subsequently, and the same thing will happen this time too, they added.

The saffron party inducted about 40 leaders from the Congress and the BJD in the run-up to the recent polls.

A BJP leader, however, said that they will continue to strengthen the party organisation as urban body elections are likely to be held in the State later this year.

The BJP leaders are upbeat as their nominees had finished number two in a majority of Assembly and Lok Sabha seats in the simultaneous polls this time.

Whatever be the political situation, Mr. Patnaik, who has a comfortable majority in the State Assembly, can look forward to a smooth fifth term as long as he succeeds in sincerely implementing his government’s welfare schemes for women, farmers, tribals and other sections of society.

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