Naveen emerges from shadow of Biju Patnaik

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Bhubaneswar
May 15, 2004 09:29 PM IST

Dwarfed by the larger-than-life image of Biju Patnaik, BJD supremo has finally come out of the shadow of his legendary father.

Dwarfed by the larger-than-life image of Biju Patnaik for seven long years, BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has finally come out of the shadow of his legendary father.

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The suave and soft-spoken 58-year-old leader, who led his party's six-year-long alliance with the BJP to victory in the just concluded Lok Sabha and assembly polls, is obviously eyeing a long-term future in politics.

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Patnaik, who was unanimously elected leader of the alliance at the joint meeting of the legislature parties of the two parties, would be sworn-in as Chief Minister for a second consecutive term tomorrow.

Clad in spotless white all the time, Patnaik has apparently caught the imagination of the people by his call to 'fight corruption' and the messages he sent out were reflected in the people's response enabling the alliance to capture 93 of the 147 assembly seats and 18 of the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies.

When he is sworn-in tomorrow, Patnaik would become only the second Chief Minister in the state to have won a second consecutive term.

Every time elections were held, the state government changed except in 1985 when J B Patnaik was returned to power for a second term.

Patnaik's name was proposed by the BJP legislature party leader Biswabhushan Harichandan and seconded by BJD leader Damodar Rout at a joint meeting of the two legislature parties.

BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan was also present.

Earlier, Patnaik was unanimously elected leader of the BJD legislature party at a separate meeting.

At the state BJP headquarters, party's newly elected legislators chose Harichandan as their leader in the house unanimously.

Harichandan's name was proposed by BJP state president Manmohan Samal who is also among the newly elected. It was seconded by K.V.Singh Deo and others.

Harichandan then announced that Samal would function as Deputy Leader of the legislature party in the house.

Mahajan, who attended the meeting as central observer, ascertained the views of individual legislators about the choice of the leader of the legislature party.

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