Starvation is a story of past: Naveen

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said the image of Odisha has changed as the standard of living has increased considerably in the State and there is no starvation case in the State now.

Taking part in an interacting session with senior journalist Prabhu Chawla at the concluding day of the fifth edition of the Odisha Literary Festival (OLF), Patnaik said; “Image has changed. For some years now we have a policy of Re 1/kg rice. The starvation is very much a story of the past. Also in the last two years, we have built 1million pucca houses and in next two years we will certainly see there will be no kutcha houses”.

When asked about future leader of Odisha, Patnaik said: “People in their own judgement will choose their own leader at the appropriate time and I don’t think it’s necessary to groom a leader.”

Clarifying his stand on BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab’s statement of a possible alliance with Congress, the Chief Minister said: “The gentleman you are referring to is being misquoted. There is no question of alliance with Congress party. In fact our policy is to remain equidistance from both BJP and Congress.”

Whether he is interested in central politics, Patnaik replied straight that he is happy and content with his present job and staying in Odisha’. “I am not interested in Delhi politics”, he said.

On the personal lifestyle of CM, the editorial Director of The New Indian Express asked why Naveen Patnaik prefers a small car like SX4 when rest of the Chief Ministers drive big cars, Patnaik laughed at him and said he is quite happy and feels comfortable in SX4 as the government had provided it for him.