Bhubaneswar, May 21 UNI | 2 months ago

A reluctant entrant to politics, 68-year-old Naveen Patnaik, a socialite and writer-turned politician, today created history by being sworn in as Odisha Chief Minister for the fourth time in a row.

He has thus become the longest serving Chief Minister of the state.

Born on October 16, 1946 in Cuttack to the legendary leader Biju Patnaik, former Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr Patnaik was educated at the Doon School and later qualified for Bachelor of Arts.

He was a writer and had for most part of his youth been away from politics even though his father, a household name in Odisha, had a five decade old political career and served the state twice as Chief Minister.

It was only after his father's demise, he entered into politics on the advise of the Biju babu's political followers in 1997 and a year later founded the Biju Janata Dal, named after Biju Patnaik.

Mr Patnaik has emerged as the unchallenged leader during the last 17 years, winning the Assembly elections four times in a row, two of them in alliance with the BJP and the last two elections on his own charisma of aspiring to fulfil the dreams of his father to make Odisha as one of the prosperous states in the country.

He was dubbed as a traitor when he severed the
11-year-long alliance with the BJP just before the 2009 Assembly election and heading the government twice with the BJP in 2000 and 2004 elections.
But he proved his detractors wrong when he steered the BJD to a thumping majority in 2009 assembly elections without the support of the BJP by winning 103 of the 147 Assembly seats.

Mr Patnaik then occupied a prominent place in the national politics by joining hands with the left parties and entering into a seat sharing adjustment with them in both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

(Posted on 21-05-2014)