Interesting facets of five-time chief minister Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday filed nomination papers for the post of president of Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

The election of Patnaik, the incumbent BJD president, is a mere formality as his leadership continues to remain unchallenged in the regional outfit.

With aura of invincibility hovering around him, Naveen Patnaik now in fifth term as chief minister has emerged as one of the exciting personalities in Indian politics.

 Ever since he entered the political arena in 1997, Patnaik has surprised many political pundits with his astute move.

However, very few people know about his persona that has discernible and unabated acceptance among the electorate spanning over two decades.

Despite periodic hiccups in administration on some issue or the other over the years, every effort by the opposition to ground Naveen has failed basically because he has created an image of a gentle, calm and intelligent leader. People consider him to be very honest as he is a bachelor and nothing at stake.

1-Most of the times he talks in English though he understands and speaks good Odia. He intentionally does not speak Odia so that no one would gather in front of him and he could concentrate on his job. People still believe that he does not know Odia and  the leaders and bureaucrats around him are blamed for omission and commission in administration, if any, which helps him maintain a clean image.

2-When dealing with different kinds of people whether in party office or public function he is good with everyone though he has no patience for hearing trivial issues nor interested in such matters. However, he is very harsh and vindictive towards enemy and can go to any extent to take revenge.

3-Very punctual whether going to office or any function, Naveen doesn’t like sitting continuously at a place. and often seen moving out after some work prompting others to claim that he smokes at regular intervals. But, no one has ever seen him smoking in public place.

4-An atheist to the core, he does not prefer showing himself up wearing garland or tilak though he visits Sri Jagnnath temple, Puri at regular intervals and dedicates everything to the lord as mark of respect to Sri Jagannath keeping in line with people’s sentiment.

5-A sports lover and an avid reader, Naveen is fond of listening to songs or watching selected movies alone during which he asks his staff not to disturb him.

6-Youngest among three siblings, other two being elder brother Prem Patnaik and sister Geeta Mehta, Naveen is considered to be close to his sister. However, he has no emotional relation or bonding with any politician or bureaucrat whatsoever.

7-Another interesting facade of his nature is that he simply doesn’t believe everyone on face value but once likes someone he keeps on doing so. He is very sympathetic towards poor and common people and women love him more than the man.

8- Never found to be joyful and exchanging pleasantries with anyone but when in front of camera he is ready with his trademark smiling pose. Not only that, his focus is always on camera and nothing else when being clicked.

9-An introvert by nature, he doesn’t shout like many politicians and works silently. He always wears spotless, simple, clean and casual white kurta and pyjama that too above the ankle and covers a shawl in winter. He likes chicken, chocolates, salted cashew and green coconut water.

10-Naveen has a disliking for the priests of Sri Jagannath temple ostensibly because of intermittent disturbances affecting the centuries old rituals in the shrine. But, whenever any proposal goes to him for action against the erring “Pandas (servitors)”, he doesn’t act on the ground that any such move would create more problem.