THE FALL OF ANOTHER ICARUS

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The last nail of the coffin was the behaviour shown to the popular chief minister in public meetings which toll the death knell for Pandian in particular and BJD in general.

The election for the parliament of our country and our state assembly has been completed. When the ruling party in the centre could succeed to retain power consecutively for the third term, our state failed to create history by electing the chief minister for sixth consecutive terms. The electorate of Odisha have shown their utmost maturity by rejecting the chief minister’s appeal for a sixth term not because there was strong anti-incumbency against the ruling chief minister but in spite being the darling of the masses, the action taken or say inaction of his has resulted in such decimation of the ruling party in our state.

There was a conspiracy for transfer of power from the elected representatives to bureaucracy. The foundation of which was laid just after the massive victory of 2019 election in the shape of ‘Mo Sarkar’. When the government working under the chief minister was his government, what was the necessity of creating a government within the government. The rationale behind it was that it will be prompter and more responsive to address and redress the grievances of the people of the state. First health and Police services were brought under Mo Sarkar. Gradually all the department except law were brought under Mo Sarkar. Then in a very systematic way another concept (as told by the ruling party in the assembly) known as 5T came to picture. All the departments which were brought to Mo Sarkar went to that conceptual department known as 5T headed by an IAS officer of junior cadre as Secretary of that concept. Astonishingly that concept had no minister, no staff and only one officer. In the name of that department he not only tried to control all the departments but shadowed the post of chief secretary, ACS and other secretaries also.

Gradually he garbed all the power and became omnipresent by making whirl wind tour by chopper to all the parts of the state in the name of collecting grievances from the people as the representative of the chief minister. For his tour, the elected representatives were asked to arrange grand stages, podiums and massive gathering of people in the meeting but were prohibited to show their faces in the meetings. The ploy was to project himself as the successor of the Chief minister as he was ageing and ailing. The elected representatives of the party had no voices to raise rather they preferred to digest such humiliations for the fear of ticket cut in the ensuing election. Almost all the cadres of the party have accepted him as their leader and started eulogising him as the Vikas Purusa of the state with fierce competition among each other. Taking advantages of it, the self- proclaimed leader Mr. V.K. Pandian went on declaring various populist schemes to attract the voters especially the youth and new voters of the state. Till that time, he was a Govt. officer, so the opposition raised the issue of his propriety and position to declare such schemes at the cost of the exchequer and challenged him to quit the official position and jump to direct politics. By that time, he had developed a perception that the party and the people of the state have accepted him as leader and successor of the chief minister, so he obliged the demand of the opposition and quit the job to jump to direct politics.

He had a notion that people of the state have accepted a non-Odia speaking chief minister for the last twenty-four years, similarly they will accept him as their leader. Besides he may not be a born Odia, but by virtue of his marriage to an Odia girl of his cadre, he has become the son-in-law of the state. While thinking so, he forgot that Nabin Pattanaik is the son of legendary Biju Pattanaik and the aura which Biju babu has left in the mind of the people of the state has over shadowed the inability of Nabin to speak Odia. Besides he is the son of the soil but he is son-in-law of the soil. There is a great difference between the son and son-in-law.

When he jumped to direct politics, the issue of Odia Asmita came. People started finding fault with the decisions and works undertaken by him. Prominent among all was the issue of Jagannath temple. The extravaganza made in Srimandir Parikrama Prakalpa, non-opening of Ratna Bhandar and non-opening of the four doors of the temple for hassle free visit of the devotees came to the fore. Salt was added to the injury when a beef eater Kamia Jani entered into the temple and promoted Mahaprasad in her YouTube blog and the Arpan Ratha which roamed throughout the state collecting offerings from the devotees of Odisha. In Jagannath culture, Jagannath never goes for begging because the feeder of the universe and queen of riches Maa Laxmi resides in the temple. Besides the unceremonious way Lord Jagannath was aboded in trolley autos hurt the sentiments of the devotees and people of Odisha at large. The last nail of the coffin was the behaviour shown to the popular chief minister in public meetings which toll the death knell for Pandian in particular and BJD in general.

Though BJP had no such ground level organisation to sweep the election, the silent voters decided to go against the ploy of Pandian and show him the door. The mood of the voters was so mysterious that even the psephologists failed to study the mind of the people to predict the poll outcome. The maturity which the people of Odisha have shown for saving the state from the mind set of slavery and up holding its Asmita is really commendable. The decimation of BJD and the cataclysmic transmutation of the fate of Pandian will be an interesting chapter in the political history of Odisha forever.

 

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