BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday dismissed ‘cooperative federalism’, the governance mantra of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said it is not in operation. He also criticised the Centre for cutting off funds provided to the States.
“I don’t think there is much of cooperative federalism because the Centre has cut off a very large amount of funds to the State. That is a very big problem for us,” the Chief Minister said during a tete-a-tete with Prabhu Chawla, the Editorial Director of The New Indian Express at the fifth edition of Odisha Literary Festival (OLF) here.
The Chief Minister also reiterated ruling BJD’s stand of maintaining equi-distance from Congress and BJP. “There is no question of an alliance with Congress. The BJD’s policy is to maintain equidistant from the BJP and Congress,” he said.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the OLF-2016, Naveen said this will enrich Indian literature and give it a new direction. “I am confident that our guests have found an opportunity to discern the emerging trends in Odia literature and Odia writers, for their part, must have benefited immensely from interactions with writers from other linguistic communities,” he said.
Congratulating the organisers of the OLF, the Chief Minister said this annual event has met the high standards of excellence the organisers have set for themselves. Over the course of two days, novelists, poets, lyricists and scholars were engaged in a very lively exchange of ideas, he said and added, “This exchange illuminates aspects of our experience of a world in transition and helps us see them refreshingly new perspectives.”
Stating that the discussion expands and deepens understanding of very important role played by literature in the life of a community, Naveen said literature also makes human beings conscious of the need to assert their unique individuality in the face of a world growing increasingly impersonal under the pressure of technology and consumerism. The debates and discussions must have been a rich source of instruction and delight to everyone present, he said and hoped that the festival has stimulated the minds of youths and shown new horizon to them. He thanked the organisers of OLF for infusing vitality into the culture life and rendering it more vibrant. The Chief Minister said in modern times, writers in Odisha shaped a new idiom to express a sensibility born of attempts to engage with rapidly reality. Some of their works have reached the world outside through translation and received much acclaim.
Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Prabhu Chawla welcomed the Chief Minister and said he believes in minimum words and maximum work. Naveen Patnaik is the only Chief Minister after Jyoti Basu who has completed 16 years in office, he said.