Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
In a peculiar situation, as a bunch of Congress leaders including his closest ones in politics were too ambitious for J.B.Pattnaik to retain his grip on administration as strongly as before, which led to his resignation; and, as the Congress had suffered loss of dignity in the cobweb of Sonia Gandhi’s ill-advised spree of exhibition of her authority, which she was displaying by setting political lightweights one after one as his substitutes, the State had fallen in the hands of Naveen Patnaik under a confused flow of sympathy generated for the bereft children of Biju Patnaik, whom, despite having deracinated from office due to rampart misrule, the magnanimous people of Orissa had pardoned on his death.
Naveen could have given Orissa a good government, as a team of astute politicians with vast personal knowledge on Orissa and expertise in legislation, were with him. But, he treated Orissa as a fee simple and kicked out the founding fathers of his party – one after another.
As a result, the State has fallen to such a labyrinth of abject poverty, that jumping silent zones of introvert sorrows, news of a father or a mother selling away his / her baby for lack of ability to provide food to the child or for earning food for sustenance of the family for a few days, make frequent headlines.
Majority of the population is suffering inanition due to starvation. Lest there are huge starvation deaths – as that would attract world attention to his misrule – Naveen has been squandering away the State Exchequer in meeting the heavy subsidy to provide rice at the rate of one rupee per kg to keep them in slow-starvation.
Agriculture all over Orissa is suffering because of the unavailability of agricultural workers. Wherever workers from neighboring states are available, cultivation is somewhat managed there. But rest of Orissa is suffering loss in agriculture as local workers are reluctant to work. When farmers’ suicide has become less surprising in this sad situation, the general perception is that one-rupeean-rice is making the agricultural workers lazy.
But, my finding in the field was shocking. On September 4, 2015 I have described that. Naveen doesn’t bother.
When it was noted that the people had no money to pay even Rs. 2/- per a Kg of rice, to evade mass starvation deaths, Naveen converted the scheme to one-rupeean.
And, this scheme has kept our people in slow starvation, even as the party in power has been exploiting their slow-starvation induced inanition to drag their votes to its boxes in elections from Panchayat to Parliament. Naveen believes, as long as the poor people are kept in slow starvation, he shall be in power by dragging their inane votes to BJD boxes.
And, perhaps this has emboldened him to declare that the BJP National Executive meeting in Orissa after a few days and the possible review of the execution of central projects by the Union Officials at the same time will have no impact on his vote bank.
Thinking minds should take note of this.