Naveen becomes nation’s 2nd longest serving CM
Naveen took a plunge into politics in 1997 after the death of his father and former chief minister Biju Patnaik.
BHUBANESWAR: July 22, 2023 was a watershed moment in the spectacular political journey of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He became the second longest-serving chief minister of the country after former CM of Sikkim Pawan Kumar Chamling, surpassing the tenure of former CM of West Bengal late Jyoti Basu.
Naveen equalled the term with veteran Communist leader Basu by continuing in office for 23 years, 4 months and 17 days or 8,538 days as on July 21, 2023. Chamling still holds the record of the longest-serving chief minister with 24 years, 165 days from December 12, 1994 to May 27, 2019. Basu is credited for serving five consecutive terms as chief minister of the Left Front government led by CPM in West Bengal.
Naveen took a plunge into politics in 1997 after the death of his father and former chief minister Biju Patnaik. He was elected thrice to Lok Sabha before becoming the chief minister of the BJD-BJP coalition government on March 5, 2000. The alliance lasted for two terms till 2009 when the BJD parted ways to go alone.
The regional party under his leadership has won the 2009, 2014 and 2019 elections with a thumping majority. If Patnaik leads his party to another victory, which appears almost certain given the inherent weakness of the Opposition BJP and Congress, he is will create another milestone in the electoral history of the country. A sixth consecutive win will be a record that will be difficult to break.
The other long serving chief ministers of the country are Gegong Apang of Arunachal Pradesh (22 years, 8 months and 5 days), Lal Thanhawla (21 years, 38 days) of Mizoram and Virbhadra Singh (21 years) of Himachal Pradesh.