Bhubaneswar: Is Naveen spreading wings? Aspiring for national politics?
Yes, that is what believe many in the political circle here.
Last month when he marshaled the women reservation resolution in the state assembly very few had an inkling that he was aspiring for a national attention. Patnaik pitched for 33% reservation for women in Parliament as well as state assemblies and passed the resolution in the House. Then he wrote a letter to the prime minister Narendra Modi early this week urging the latter to initiate process for women reservation.
Today, Naveen called all his senior lieutenants to his Naveen Nivas for a discussion on the reservation issue. None, however, had the idea what the party supremeo has in his mind. When Naveen assigned duties to them, they could realize that what it is.
Naveen directed ministers, party MPs and senior leaders to fan out to different part of the country to mobilize support for women reservation in Parliament and assemblies. The party stalwarts to meet top leaders of 22 national and regional parties including Congress, BJP, CPI & CPM, Bahujan Samaj Party, Troonmool Congress and NCP. Senior leaders like AU Singhdeo, Bhatruhari Mehtab,Bed Prakash Agarwal, Prasanna Acharya, Pinaki Mishra, Tathagata Satapathy, Pratyusha Devi, Sarojini Hembram, Ananta Das, Sashi Bhusan Behera, Badri Patra and Arabinda Dhalli, Kulamani Samal, and Rita Tarai to negotiate the national and regional political leaders of various parties to garner their support for the reservation.
This is a sort of campaign Naveen launched at the national level. And, this is for the first time perhaps, Odisha is going to lead a popular campaign in the national political circle.
If World Cup hockey has familiarized Naveen’s name at the national and international arena, the women reservation campaign is going to consolidate his position as one of the top national leader.
Naveen’s father legendary Biju Patnaik had showed the nation by declaring 33% of posts in rural local bodies reserved for women. Subsequently, it was raised to 50% and at the national level.
Women reservation is a sensitive issue.
If handled properly, it will not only catapult Naveen to the national politics but also bring in electoral dividend in the coming 2019 elections for Naveen’s BJD.