BJD lauds Odisha CM for State’s preparedness

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is happy that the Odisha Government, infamous for its poor handling of natural calamities in the past, has started getting some “positive coverage” for the large-scale evacuation that was carried out ahead of the landfall of the cyclone Phailin.

The party feels that the proactive role played by State Chief Minister and party supremo Naveen Patnaik has enhanced his reputation and is a befitting answer to the debates on leadership surrounding Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi.

“A free hand was given to officials and people’s representatives to implement his standing direction that there should be zero loss of lives,” Cuttack MP and senior leader of the BJD Bhartruhari Mahtab said. He said the best part of Patnaik’s leadership was that he succeeded in preparing the Government’s mechanism to face such an enormous crisis.

Mahtab says that non-Congress, non-BJP chief ministers such as former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa performed well while managing the impact of 1999 super cyclone by maximum evacuations and monitoring of the 2004 tsunami rehabilitation. “Patnaik proved his mettle.

He has seen the devastation of and incompetence of the State apparatus during 1999 super cyclone. Odisha has developed its own system to face such calamities,” Mahtab said, adding that rehabilitation was a major challenge for the State as floods followed the cyclone in many parts of the State.

“We are seeking the Centre’s assistance to reinstate power distribution and repair houses and roads,” he added.

The Congress had asked Patnaik not to be a propagandist. Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena had said that it was the Centre that helped the State to face the situation and the State Government failed in securing lives. The BJD asked Jena to focus on rehabilitation works at his constituency Balasore.

“He should be seen in Balasore, not in Bhubaneswar,” Mahtab said.

The BJP was also cautious while responding to a question whether it would congratulate Patnaik.

The BJD has been making efforts to make an anti-Congress, anti-BJP platform in and outside Parliament. Patnaik had recently disapproved the leadership of both Modi and Rahul Gandhi.

jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 14, 2013)
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