The year that was of Naveen Patnaik only, no roller-coaster ride that one

Published: Jan 1, 2020, 9:00 am IST

Whether the Biju Janata Dal agrees to it or not but the year 2019 had remained a mix bag for the party supremo Naveen Patnaik.

He left 2018 amid a state when he was wallowing in the confusion over the real intent of the Bharaitya Janta Party as the latter being in power at the centre can do and undo things to increase the number of states under its rule.

Just a month or two before the General elections his fears of being painted as a ‘burnt transformer’ were on the diminish as the polls inched nearer. It was a mutual dependence that kept both the BJD & the BJP to reduce the verbal contest during the campaigns into a friendly one.

There were perhaps lesser frustrations on either side to have funneled into any specific agenda of bitter enmity as the subtle ego on both sides paled fast.

Cruise through an opposition-free confluence

At the home front, Naveen Patnaik had little to be concerned about any formidable opposition. The Congress was already frozen by the collapse of its fundamental structural identity  and the BJP had in meantime acclimatized itself to the conditions prevailing between Patnaik and the BJP at the centre.

However, once the new government was formed, the competition over governance brought in a new climate of contest in which both Odisha and the centre were found relying heavily on sloganeering in-order to set aside the odds of interdependence. So the alienation was quite discernible for political observers.

Naveen opened the innings with a slew of schemes topped with slogans like Kalia, Pitha, Mo( for all) and the major being the 5T and went on with his steady pace taking on the odds posed by a hackneyed opposition, mainly the BJP, which only wills to wound but afraid to strike.

It was an easy ride so far

That obviously lent the BJD regime the much needed thumbs up to burrow through the enemy-free situation and leaving the BJP content with a kind of fishing expedition in Odisha.

Enjoying a water-tight detachment from the spikes of any communal unrest etc, yet it remained a headache for the Naveen dispensation on the front of incidents of rape, a deteriorating scenario in the health sector and communication.

Which perhaps necessitated the coinage of the 5T that emerged as a combined watch-dog concept to ensure delivery by the systems. Although the concept drew a barrage of criticisms from the opposition for reducing the administrative apparatus into one only, but  Naveen  carried on with the concept and dividends from the exercise may not be remarkably productive but,  it has made a few noticeable steps at corrections and, of course,  accountability.

But the step has made some heartburns within the bureaucracy but, as long as it makes the foundation an integrated one, such murmurs get lost in a wilderness of anonymity.

It is difficult to hazard a guess at this time that how Naveen Patnaik-led rule will be able to debunk the rumours and suspicions and ensure a mechanism that can deliver in 2020.

However, the transition in between the two years is stuffed with the spectre  of CAA and NRC and that is where Patnaik might find the path bit hostile but, being an accomplished survivor, he may not find the situation so critical to step over in due course,