Saffron-coloured chinks in Naveen’s armour

For the first time in 17 years, the chinks in Naveen Patnaik’s armour have been exposed.

Published: 28th February 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2017 03:25 AM   |  A+A-

For the first time in 17 years, the chinks in Naveen Patnaik’s armour have been exposed. The aura of invincibility around the BJD supremo seems to have fizzled out. The results of the panchayat polls have stunned not just poll pundits but also the ruling party which has lost over 180 Zilla Parishad zones compared to 651 seats it bagged in 2012.

On the other hand, the BJP has risen from a measly 36 seats five years ago to a tally close to 300, a ten-time surge that surprised the party itself. It not just grabbed the vote bank of a sinking Congress, but breached the once impregnable BJD fort. Not only did it sweep Western Odisha, it even blanked BJD in Kalahandi. Significantly, it made inroads into BJD strongholds in coastal districts. In Maoist-hit districts, the BJP has peformed impressively. What must alarm Naveen is BJD’s poor performance in tribal belts where his charisma had no parallel till 2014.

The polls, fought at a scale not seen before, have proved Naveen’s tribal appeasement politics have failed. It also indicated that public perception of the four-time CM, the man of all seasons for BJD in last two decades, has taken a beating. Known to crack the whip at the mere hint of corruption allegations, Naveen’s inaction against partymen involved in the Ponzi scam sent wrong signals to voters. His sole mantra of doling out freebies and his so-called pro-poor programmes have proved to be the antithesis of BJD’s development model. The Economic Survey 2016-17 says Odisha’s farm sector is grappling with rising unemployment. The revolt by drought-hit farmers, malnourishment deaths in Jajpur and the Japanese Encephalitis outbreak in Malkangiri gave ample hints that not all was well. Most importantly, the BJD misread the aspirations of the youth, the biggest vote base. This generation wants change, not just promises. The BJD must shed its arrogance and get its ears back to the ground. With Assembly polls two years away, not everything is lost yet for Naveen.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp