Bhubaneswar: Naveen Patnaik, the Odisha poll warrior has emerged as champion as the elections to Lok Sabha and State Assembly came to end on Monday.
The 72 year old BJD supremo, defied his age and covered almost all the 147 assembly constituency in the state during his poll campaign. Braving scorching heat he addressed nearly 200 elections rallies, held road shows covering over 600 km by bus. Such powerful was his roadshows that it visibly swing the voters mood where ever his specially-designed bus arrived. Naveen’s road show is likely to set a new trend in Indian poll campaign. Not only that he presided over meetings that work out the strategies in between.
Like Abhimanya in Mahabharat, he was surrounded by all the Maharathis of the Indian electoral battle. Starting from BJP’s powerful poll campaigner and prime minister Narendra Modi, his fencer Amit Shah, battery of union ministers like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari on one side and the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his star campaigners like Raj Babbar, Gulam Navi Azad on the other side. As if that was not enough, the leaders of Left parties and the JMM supremo Sibu Soren were after his head.
He was attacked from the left, right and from and back. But, he dodged and deflected with deft all the volleys. When Modi spewed venom on him by saying –“Naveen thumhara jana taya hai”, the Doon School alumina delivered a witty reply, ” Humbly, I invite you to my swearing-in ceremony as a guest”.
Unfazed by the Chakrabuhya laid by the mighty opposition, Naveen steered through the campaign successfully and evidently escaped unhurt. Quite unlike the Abhimanya of Mahabharat. Perhaps, because he was awake when political narrations were forming the state in last four decades and so.
The soft spoken, gentle Patnaik hogged the national headlines very often during the campaign. Perhaps he is the only chief of regional satraps among his peers who ruled the national prime time for good reasons. His interviews to national news channels like CNN News 18, NTDV India Today stirred the national politics. His statements: No national party would get majority, and his party BJD is going to play a key role in the formation of the next government virtually changed the political narration in the country. He stern remark: Modi does not deserve a second term, made all the national political parties and various Gathbandans to rejig their post-poll plans.
By the time the results were out on May 23, Naveen is going to be surely much in demand at the national political scenario. What role he is going to play at the national level? Let us wait and watch.