Did Naveen’s ‘Breakfast Tips’ hint at putting house in order or setting stage for successor?

The BJD leaders seemingly playing it safe for now on the matter of succession as they believe that the party will face a major setback if Naveen Patnaik quits politics without placing someone from his family as party chief

Bhubaneswar: July 3rd witnessed an unforeseen and unanticipated side of Naveen when he, for the first time in his 19-year rule, was seen sharing tips with newly-elected representatives to be pro-people leaders.

While some feel it’s an emulation of Modi, the ‘Breakfast Tips’ of CM Naveen to the first time MLAs of the party has put many in a state of ambiguity who feel that it could be an initiative towards setting the platform right for BJD’s successor. Naveen reportedly had breakfast with the MLAs in presence of some experienced leaders of the party today and shared the mantra of developing relationships with people and the electorate. He reportedly shared tips on the do’s and don’ts that need to be followed by the party legislators.

Moreover, the CM advised his MLAs to be down-to-earth while dealing with people and focus on carrying out developmental activities and strengthening the party organization at the grassroots level. He also reportedly told the MLAs to shun the greed for gold jewelry and luxury vehicles while directing them to take State government’s schemes to the people.

There’s no report of CM Naveen telling anything related to his successor in the meeting. However, many see the makeover as a sign of roping in Arun Patnaik, the CM’s nephew, to the helm of the party. Though Naveen was seen as someone against dynastic politics (in his earlier clarification on successor), BJD leaders feel that people of Odisha may not accept someone outside of the Patnaik family and so they want the inclusion of Arun Patnaik in the party at any cost.

To be candid, the BJD leaders are seemingly playing it safe for now on the matter of succession as they believe that the party will face a major setback if Naveen quits politics without placing Arun as party chief.

Besides, contrary to the last four general polls, the 2019 elections proved to be a contest instead of a cakewalk. The unexpected surge of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha has somewhere injected a fear within the ruling-BJD. Naveen will turn 73 in October and the chances of him contesting the next polls in 2024 are quite less. Such compulsions could be necessitating an early selection of the successor so that the party workers can get enough time to project him as the next face of the BJD.

Naveen babu seems to have changed his mode of work. He used to have fewer interactions with party leaders, but it seems, now, he is going PM Modi’s way of interacting with party MLAs, workers and holding meetings. It can’t be denied that the BJD has started its work towards setting the stage for a new face and at the same time regaining the trust of people that has dwindled, said a political analyst.