Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik resigns from his post after poll drubbing

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik formally concluded his 24-year tenure in office on Wednesday by submitting his resignation to Governor Raghubar Das at Raj Bhawan. Patnaik's departure from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) marks the end of a distinguished career characterised by his long-standing leadership in Odisha's political landscape.

At 11.33 pm, Patnaik left his official residence, Naveen Niwas, in a convoy of vehicles, arriving at Raj Bhawan shortly after. His resignation letter was presented in the presence of senior leaders from his party, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

The decision to resign follows the BJD's electoral setback in the recently concluded Odisha Legislative Assembly polls, with the party securing only 51 out of 147 Assembly seats. In contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the frontrunner with 78 seats, while the Congress and Independents secured 14 and 4 seats, respectively.

Patnaik's resignation comes just 74 days shy of potentially becoming the longest-serving Chief Minister in Indian history, a title currently held by Pawan Kumar Chamling of Sikkim, who served for 24 years and 165 days.

During the election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Amit Shah spearheaded a vigorous campaign against the ruling BJD in Odisha. The BJP's platform prominently featured the preservation of Odia identity and heritage, alleging neglect and inefficiency in governance under Patnaik's administration.

The BJP's emphasis on "Odia Asmita" (pride) resonated with voters, who expressed concerns over perceived threats to the state's language, culture, and heritage. Patnaik's government was also accused of corruption and inefficiency by the Opposition, contributing to the BJP's electoral gains in the state.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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