Bhubaneswar: The president of the ruling BJD in Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, Wednesday told the party's newly elected lawmakers to be simple and humble besides asking them to stay away from corruption.
Patnaik said this while meeting the newly elected MLAs over breakfast at Naveen Niwas, his residence. Out of the 59 newly elected MLAs in the Odisha Legislative Assembly, 40 belongs to the ruling BJD.
The party president, who is also the chief minister of Odisha shared tips and tricks with the legislators to achieve success in politics.
"I will suggest you (new MLAs) to accept my advice as 'guru mantra' (master's formula) in order to keep the people's trust on us and our party. Work hard for the welfare of the people without any discrimination," Patnaik told the new MLAs.
The BJD president's suggestion to new MLAs to become "simple and humble" is considered politically significant in the backdrop of a party lawmaker from Patnagarh Saroj Kumar Meher's arrest over forcing a junior engineer to do sit-ups in public.
Meher was arrested last month and is in prison at present on charge of publicly humiliating a government servant belonging to tribal community. Patnaik also suggested the first-timers to keep away from arrogance and luxurious lifestyle.
"A gap is naturally created between the people and their representative if an MLA becomes arrogant and maintains luxurious life style," Patnaik said. Noting that the people prefer simplicity, Patnaik said, "If an MLA maintains a simple and humble lifestyle, s/he will be elected time and again."
Citing his own experience, Patnaik, who has been elected to the state assembly five times from one assembly segment (Hinjili in Ganjam district), said, "After getting elected to the assembly for the first time in 2000, I invited all the BDOs (block development officers) in my constituency and told them to ensure that people, cutting across party lines, get benefit of welfare schemes." "Now elections are over. Therefore, all people are equal. There should be no discrimination on party lines," Patnaik said.
Patnaik, who is the only politician in Odisha to become the chief minister of the state, five times in a row, asked the MLAs to fulfill the promises made to the people during elections. "The chief minister told us the way he has been working for the people since his first election to assembly in 2000. He suggested us to fulfill the poll promises made to people and address issues taking everyone's support," said Ananta Narayan Jena, a first-time legislator elected from Bhubaneswar - Central constituency.
"The party president suggested us to work for the welfare of the people with dedication," said another new MLA.