Ashutosh Mishra

By Ashutosh Mishra

Bhubaneswar: Not one to rest on his laurels chief minister, Naveen Patnaik has set about the task of further strengthening the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) organisation in the state. The party, of which he is the president, has decided to launch an ambitious membership drive almost doubling its strength in the state.

It chalked out the contours of the drive at its first executive body meeting held after the elections here on Sunday. Patnaik’s address to the party leaders at the executive was significant. He asked them and the ordinary BJD workers to act as the agents of change and emphasized the need for the faithful implementation of his 5T formula of governance.

It is now increasingly clear that Patnaik sees performance-based governance and organisational work as the most important way of winning the confidence of people. Though opposition leaders have criticized his excessive emphasis on 5T as hypocrisy with some even describing it as a ‘ panic reaction’ to ‘ people’s growing anger against his government’ we know that there is no truth in these allegations.

Having just won a massive mandate for the fifth time in a row Patnaik has no need to panic or to enact stunts. Rather, he appears to be truly acting as a benevolent ruler in his fifth coming as the chief minister of the state. His emphasis is on taking governance to the people instead of people being at the mercy of the administration.

From this point of view 'Mo Sarkar' scheme is a laudable initiative though there may be teething troubles at the beginning of its implementation. The most important part is putting a system of service in place and then comes the implementation part followed by close monitoring. The first part has almost been taken care of with the decision to appoint ward officers to take care of people’s problems in every ward.

The next step will be to watch the efficiency of these officers and whether they are acting in an impartial manner or not because municipal elections may not be far away. Like in the case of panchayats political considerations also play a role in the municipal areas.

There are still allegations from certain areas of Puri that BJD loyalists cornered almost all the relief in the wake of cyclone Fani. Such allegations have also surfaced in the rural areas of the district. This creates a bad impression and spoils the image of the government. One is sure that chief minister would not like his men to act in a partisan manner but such things happen at the local level where only an extremely vigilant administration can ensure the implementation of schemes impartially.

That indeed is the biggest challenge for the chief minister as he makes a determined bid to make his administration as pro-people as possible. Opposition leaders will also do well to appreciate the good steps taken by the government. Criticism for criticism sake will erode their own credibility. They should act in sync with the government wherever they find it moving in the right direction.

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)