BHUBANESWAR: In a rare display of warmth, Union MoS for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday praised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his philosophy of simple living.
“Naveen babu is a role model in national politics for his plain living and non-attachment to materialism. I am proud of it and inspired too,” Pradhan said at the Odisha Literary Festival (OLF) here.
In an interactive session with Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director of The New Indian Express, after inaugurating the fifth edition of the OLF, Pradhan said this trait in Patnaik is quintessentially Odia.
“Another other good quality of Naveen babu is his ability to derive satisfaction from other people’s happiness and success,” Pradhan said,
Asked what he dislikes about Patnaik, Pradhan said his overconfidence that nothing will dent his popularity even after episodes such as Dana Majhi, which grabbed international attention.
“Very few political leaders have the rare fortune of receiving such a huge mandate for such a long time. But to sit assured that nothing will happen to him despite not delivering the goods leaves me baffled,” he added.
Dubbing Patnaik’s regime insensitive and incompetent, Pradhan said what pains him most as an Odia is that his government has failed to provide basic amenities like ambulance service to the families of the dead even after 17 years in power.
Drawing a parallel to the CPM regime in West Bengal, Pradhan said it is this mentality of the Leftists which led to their doom and could be repeated in 2019 elections in the state. Asked if he is being projected as the CM candidate for Odisha, Pradhan said no.
Earlier inaugurating the OLF, Pradhan lauded The New Indian Express’ for hosting the literary festival and reviving the Odisha’s literary culture in the face of the the onslaught of English literature.