Biju Janata Dal chief had never cared much for the Opposition, but things have changed now.
Bhubaneswar: In the aftermath of his party’s debacle in the recently concluded Panchayat elections, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik seems to have mellowed down a little to win back people’s love.
In the past, riding high on popularity that arguably earned by rolling out nearly a dozen populist measures, including the Rs 1 per kg rice scheme, the Biju Janata Dal chief had never cared much for the Opposition, but things have changed now.
Unlike previous sessions when he preferred to skip the scheduled business sessions, important discussions and confined himself to his chamber in the Assembly building, the chief minister is marked to have tried to remain as much time possible on the floor of the House to encourage his ministers to face the Opposition members more effectively.
Sources close to the BJD chief said, although Mr Naveen put up a brave front by dismissing any impact of his party’s poor performance in rural polls on the outcome of the 2019 Assembly elections, he has, however, taken the results seriously as it has come an “indicator” of the BJD’s diminishing stake.
The CM finds it hard to digest his party’s fall from a mammoth tally of 651 seats of the total 854 seats in 2012 rural polls to 473 seats in 2017 elections, the sources added. Mr Naveen’s new avatar, though appreciated by his party leaders, has also sent shivers down the spine of some of his non-performing ministers and lawmakers.
The non-performing ministers apprehend a complete overhauling in the council of ministers while the MLAs who failed to steer party’s ZP candidates to victory in their respective constituencies doubt if they would be repeated in the 2019 Assembly polls.