Journalist Ruben Banerjee’s ‘Naveen Patnaik’ released in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The first-ever biography of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik written by Editor of Outlook Ruben Banerjee was released today at Bhubaneswar club here by former Police DGP Amiya Bhushan Tripathy.

Starting from his entry into politics to gaining “Mr. Clean” image to the Pandian controversy, the biography covers major aspects of Naveen Patnaik’s life and times.

“Naveen appeared to be refreshingly innocent, a breath of fresh air in a putrid environment. In more ways than one, Naveen was the Arvind Kejriwal of his time, the clean political outsider who had come to perform surgery on a malignant polity. Naveen had Odias swooning over him,” writes Banerjee.

In the book, Banerjee has called CM Naveen a clever leader with a killer instinct who knows how to tackle his political opponents.

During OTV’s “Khola Katha” program, Banerjee claimed that Naveen knows Odia but never speaks as there could be a specific reason behind it. “He knows the language but might be not letting anyone know. Maybe that gives him an edge over others,” stated Banerjee.

Mentioning about dominance of bureaucrats in Odisha politics and the CM’s excessive dependence on them, Banerjee said in the same programme that bureaucrats like VK Pandian are influential in the State and ministers and senior officials make a beeline outside their chamber on the third floor.”

The Editor of Outlook has also written about the controversy surrounding former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Jay Panda.

“Relations between Panda and Naveen began to sour ever since the media started speculating about Naveen’s health and there was talk that the chief minister would shortly visit London for a liver transplant,” writes Banerjee.

He has also written about how Naveen would spend time with world famous celebrities at his Delhi home which was a “cultural melting point, where the high and mighty, the rich and famous—and the not so –famous gathered routinely. Among the guests were Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, actress Koo Stark, who once dated Prince Andrew of Britain, and Bruce Chatwin, the famous travel writer and novelist.”

There is also a special mention of CM Naveen’s education and his habits in the book.

“Educated at Doon School and a classmate of Sanjay Gandhi, he was more at home speaking in English with a western accent. He loved Dunhill cigarettes and enjoyed his Famous Grouse whisky every evening, a habit that his personal staff say, he hasn’t given up,” writes Banerjee.