Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 13 :
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said he was not a banyan tree under which nobody could grow or flourish.
Speaking at a function to mark the launch of Focus Odisha , a new Odia news channel from the stable of Focus News Network, the chief minister said the perception that he did not allow a second line of leadership to grow in the ruling Biju Janata Dal was incorrect and claimed he gave due importance to both the advice and work of his party colleagues.
“I don’t think any party , organisation and government can grow and function without the active support and help of elected members . Many people have worked to build this party (BJD) and our government.”
The chief minister, who has scrupulously avoided holding press conferences or facing open interactions with the media in his 14-year rule, was found more than willing to respond to a few friendly questions from the hosts of the function this evening.
In response to an observation that he was overly dependent on the bureaucracy, Patnaik said though he is aware of such a perception, it was not true.
The chief minister said he did believe in taking risks in politics, more so when it pertained to issues that involve his sense of ideals, integrity and ethics.
“ After all people elect us and repose faith in us to take the right decisions even if that calls for difficult choices. One should always take up the challenge of taking hard decisions on issues that have a bearing on the values one believes in and upholds, ” he said.
When asked to comment on his journey as a politician – from a greenhorn to a Chanakya, who has mastered the art of vanquishing his political rivals and detractors, Naveen said , “ I am extremely grateful to the people for their support. I don’t think I am a Chanakya but certainly I have learnt a lot over the years and the journey has been very satisfying, meaningful and fulfilling.”
To a question on how he sees the Modi phenomenon and the resounding victory of the BJP led NDA in the last elections, Patnaik said Modi’s victory was largely because of people’s disappointment with the Congress-led UPA. Scams, allegations of corruption , price rise etc were the big factors contributing to Modi’s victory, he said.
He said the new prime minister has ushered in an era of hope and while his party and government will remain equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress , they would maintain a constructive and positive attitude vis-a-vis the Modi government, with the hope that the just demands of Odisha would be considered favourably by Delhi.