Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
After squandering away precious time, energy and assets of the State in helping non-Oriya industrialists plunder Orissa and doing this so schizophrenically that the 12th session of the Legislative Assembly had to die a premature death as otherwise how far his hobnobbing with industries has harmed our people could have been brought into legitimate records, Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has admitted that ignoring irrigation was a blonder of his administration.
All on a sudden he has started projecting himself as the facilitator of irrigation to every cultivable land. His media managers have started spreading that in 2008 every village shall have irrigation in at least 35 % of the farmlands for which Rs.2000 crores would be spent from the State Exchequer.
The shenanigans marked in the impromptu meeting that he took on December 24 with only one minister and a few officers before announcing the scheme suggest that the he was in search of something that he may politically use in the congregation of his sycophants scheduled to be held on December 26 commemorating birth of BJD. And the bureaucracy that in Orissa has excelled in hoodwinking people through propaganda brought out this scheme like Sathya Sai brings out rings from his hair. It has instantly been christened Jalanidhi.
The State is drowned so much under anarchy due to his overactive patronization to plutocracy that his sycophants, mostly coming from and connected with the community of cultivators, are discernibly disillusioned. He is too smart not to know this.
He also knows that by the time of general elections he would have been deserted by majority of his sycophants too demoralized to face the general public. Time may come, like his father he may also be drafted for trial before any judicial commission of inquiry for determination of his personal responsibility in plundering our natural resources by outside operators of trade and industry as well as in protection of corrupt officials who have misappropriated the funds meant for uplift of our proletariat.
He knows that BJP will not remain an ally when the State goes to the polls. BJP is well set to win the election all by itself this time.
He knows that he is heading a politically bankrupt organization. Fidgeting under a sense of insecurity he was so much afraid of political heavyweights in BJD that he has misused his Presidential position to oust all of them, even the very same persons who had founded the party and brought him to politics.
He knows that he has kept his party-men frightened. None in his party feels safe under his leadership. Everybody in BJD knows that nobody in the party knows what may happen to him or her when; because he has ousted his colleagues always with sudden thrusts from behind. This has resulted in furthering disillusionment.
But politically ambitious people do not like to remain crawlers always. Therefore, he knows, there shall be massive exodus from BJD to BJP when the later decides to fight the election on its own strength and under its own banner. Being the Chief Minister, privy to intelligence reports, he knows that this will happen if new ways to retain the BJD members are not contrived.
Hence this impromptu formation of the Jalanidhi scheme just before BJD anniversary.
Relevant it is to note that the program is not placed yet before the cabinet. Navin has declared to spend 2000 crores of Rupees in implementation of this scheme during 2008. He has not disclosed as to where from this money shall come. There is no allocation for this in the budget. The so-called top-level meeting where the decision is touted to have been taken was kept away from participatory wisdom of the Finance Department, as neither the Finance Minister nor the Finance Secretary was present in it.
It cannot but be noted that none of the BJP members of the Cabinet was also present in the meeting. To tell the least it was deliberate. The BJP is known for having kept alive through Juel Oram allegations against the Chief Minister in context of POSCO and other industries. The BJP has a plan to tie off the alliance with BJD before elections are due and to attribute the ruin of agriculture in Orissa to official apathy generated by the CMs priority on protecting the interests of POSCO and other major private industries.
It is such a political disadvantage for Navin that he is desperately in need of a way to browbeat BJP in posing a pro-agriculture i.e. pro-people posture before the general election. Courtesy a select group of corrupt, incompetent, scheming officers, who can go to any extent to keep the CM pleased in hope of getting or continuing to hold what in their parlance is known as milch posts, he has got it in the shape of the Jalanidhi scheme.
That he deliberately kept the BJP members of the Cabinet away from the meeting that helped him announce the scheme is strongly indicative of the internal crisis the Navin Ministry is now pregnant with and also is indicative of the Chief Minister motive to keep BJP away from claiming any credit for formation of the scheme.
Therefore the indication is that the Navin Ministry has reached the fag end of its existence. And, like the proverbial monkey discovering the truth at the fag end of his life, the BJD boss has discovered the importance of irrigation at time when end of his government is so imminent that the treasury bench had to terminate a session of the Assembly to escape exposure.
Thus saying I will say, if Navin Patnaik is not going to use the Jalanidhi scheme as a mere political ploy, and if he seriously pursues the irrigation program, he will have unreserved support from peoples like me, who, in this scheme shall see their dreams come true.
Everybody has a right to correct his wrong and if Navin Patnaik takes the correctional step, notwithstanding what harm he has already caused to Orissa, devoted children of the motherland will sure extend their cooperation, specifically as he is a minor offender in comparison to Dr. Man Mohan Singh and his predecessor who would rule Orissa by proxy if either of their troops comes to power.