Odisha Sun Times Political Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 2 :
There is still no authentic information on when Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik would return to the state capital. There is still no clarity over the reasons for his extended stay in Delhi, nor is anyone in the ruling party or in the government ready to part with information on the exact date of his return.
Although the Election Commission has already relaxed the model code of conduct in Odisha and allowed developmental activities to resume, the absence of the chief minister has posed some problems in going about doing usual official business, a senior bureaucrat conceded.
However, one senior official told OST that the chief minister who was scheduled to return to the state capital on April 30, will be back in Bhubaneswar most probably on May 4, with a rider that the date is subject to change.
A reliable source in the BJD told OST that Naveen Patnaik, who over-exerted himself during the poll campaign, is unwell and has been advised rest before he starts a fresh innings.
However, the grapevine has other stories to offer.
One source says, Naveen Patnaik is quite unhappy with his election managers and partymen for letting him down in a number of ways and throwing him into a state of uncertainty over the poll results.
” He is fed up and that is the reason why he is keeping himself away from them and is not keen on returning to Bhubaneswar immediately,” the source says.
Some sources say, while the Odisha chief minister and BJD supremo is cooling his heels at his Aurangjeb Road home, he is also making good use of the holiday to re-connect with his old friends in other political parties including the BJP and the Congress. He is also chalking out different strategies for different possibilities post May 16, the sources said, adding, he is relying heavily on some senior journalist friends who are part of the so-called ‘English Club’ in Delhi for the war-room planning on permutations and combinations in political equations.
Then there are sources which say Naveen is under treatment by eminent doctors over some health issues that have been bothering him for a while. There is no definite information on the nature of the health complications though.
A grapevine source, however, surmises that the Odisha chief minister is upset over reports that the CBI, which is probing into the coal scam, may bring him under their scanner for writing a number of letters under his hand and seal to the Union Coal minister and Prime Minister recommending allocation of coal blocks to several private companies.
Whatever may be the truth, one thing which is loud and clear is that Naveen Patnaik has lost a part of his political zeal and it would take an impressive electoral victory to rejuvenate the 68-year old vote-catcher.