Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
People of Orissa are known for such disposition that it is impossible to imagine that the Congress party, the de facto owner of which is Sonia Gandhi, will get the mandate to rule, if Manmohan Singh should be continuing as Prime Minister till the election.
The people of Orissa, with their outlook inherently secular, will never vote the Communal BJP to power.
The Communists and progressive politicians are yet to unite to become fit for taking over the reign.
So, it is BJD which alone has the possibility of fetching a fresh mandate.
Yet, the mega meet it cooked at Berhampur on October 19 was to everybody’s knowledge a panic meet. Self-defense was sic passim in the speech of its ‘supremo’ Naveen Patnaik and the orations of all who spoke. The entire meet, from start to finish, was aimed at tackling the disillusionment now so discernible in the BJD rank and file. All out attempts were made to convince them that there is no threat to the party. But every worker and supporter of BJD who attended the meet was convinced that the party is in severe trouble. The reality is so very formidable that the preening prince of Bijudom, under whose autocratic control the party has drifted away from democratic norms, had to loudly hallucinate that he may or may not remain in power, but he shall have no reason to feel despaired. The sycophants of Naveen were such panic-struck that they forgot all political etiquettes and described their dissident colleagues as dogs that have betrayed the master!
All the BJD workers and supporters that had congregated there were not idiots. They understood that fear of fall has engulfed the BJD top brass.
So, BJD is in real trouble. If this condition continues, it would not be possible for BJD to bag a fresh mandate; though, till the Communists and progressive forces offer an alternative, this party is more desirable than the rest of the right-wingers.
BJD rank and file ought to understand the importance of the historical role they are to play to save Orissa from the American agents and the communalists. Therefore they ought to understand why Naveen is shuddering under fear of fall to the extent of hallucinating: “I may or may not stay in power………….”
Why should BJD get rid of Naveen
Naveen has ruined Orissa. Under his rule, the land-grabbers and mine-looters have used Orissa as their grazing ground. He has used his chief-ministerial prerogative to put the mines portfolio in the hands of first-time-ministers who, over-obliged to him by having a place in the cabinet, psychologically stay ready to carry out whatever instruction he should be giving in matters of mines allocation. Orissa has possibly suffered a loss of four lakh crores of rupees due to loot of mines; because of deliberate bestowment of the mines department to inexperienced first-timers in the cabinet (Odisha’s Proxy Mining Ministers: Sirish C.Mohanty, The Industry and Mines Observer, August 16-31, 2012, p.17). His government has collaborated with illegal mining to the drastic destruction of our eco-systems. Even the Similipal Biosphere Reserve has suffered horrific threat to its existence because of mining. He has given every reason to suspect that he has been acting a comprador, even as indigenous people are left in the lurch to perish, as Naveen has stood with the pernicious private industries. The entire State is drowned under corruption. People are distressed as disillusioned are the genuine workers of BJD.
This reality has given birth to Jan Morcha. It is remarkable that Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, the real architect of BJD victory in 2009 election, in founding this Morcha, has no ill motive against BJD. He and his intimate colleagues in the Morcha have made it clear in their Press Meet on October 19, that, they want internal democracy to return to the party and the party be made people-centric instead of being industry-centric. The Morcha is not to act against the BJD, but wants to cleanse the party of the black sheep and corrupt, commission agents and to extricate it from the autocratic clutches.
If this happens, the people will not reject the BJD.
Thus it can be said sans hesitation that Pyari and his team in Jana Morcha have offered the last opportunity to BJD members to save their party from being rejected by the people. The rank and file of BJD should avail this opportunity and educate each other in using collective wisdom to manage the party in a democratic way.
And, the party can be managed in a democratic way only when the members would get rid of the ugliest anathema to democracy that they call ‘the supremo’.