Naveen best CM in country, says Deve Gowda

Bengaluru: Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has rated Naveen Patnaik as the best Chief Minister in the country.

“Let us be frank – among all the chief ministers today, in my humble opinion Naveen is the best,” Deve Gowda told OTV in an exclusive interview here.

“During natural disasters when Odisha was adversely affected, without the cooperation of the Central government, he monitored the situation beautifully. In his worst experience, he has been able to give his best administration,” he said.

Curiously, the former Prime Minister, whose own party JD (S) was part of the exercise for formation of a Third Front ahead of the 2014 elections, praised Naveen for staying away from the front.

“Everyone was present, except Naveen Patnaik. Naveen did not cooperate. He is a mature leader and knows that this type of ragtag coalition would not work. So he distanced himself,” Deve Gowda said.

The former Prime Minister dispelled the generally held belief in Odisha that legendary leader and former chief minister of Odisha Biju Patnaik was in the race for the Prime Minister’s post in 1996.

“I do not want to say anything false in my life. Whosoever has said that Biju Patnaik was in the race for the post of Prime Minister is absolutely wrong,” he said.

The ‘humble farmer’ said that it was because of the former CM of Odisha that he was able to become the chief minister of Karnataka.

“Biju Patnaik was an observer. When I was about to become the chief minister, he was sent as an observer by the party high command. There was some ‘gadbad’ (disturbance) at that time. But Biju Patnaik insistence made me the chief minister,” Deve Gowda said.