BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, currently under tremendous pressure from the Opposition BJP and Congress who are eying power in the state in 2019, on Tuesday sought to establish emotional reconnection with the people by taking some novel steps, - hitherto unseen in the state’s political history. The Chief Minister, for the first time, held his Cabinet meeting outside the state capital Bhubaneswar, - in pilgrim town Puri, - coinciding the party’s 20th Foundation Day.
The decision of the Cabinet meeting came as a surprise for the Opposition that has been questioning for over two decades the Naveen’s reluctance to learn Odia and implement the “Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 (OFLA) that makes use of Odia mandatory for all official purposes. The Cabinet not only decided to implement the Act in letter and spirit but also decided to constitute the Odia Language Commission as provided under the Act.
Any violators of the Act shall be punished in accordance with the law provided therein. After the Cabinet meeting, Mr Patnaik addressed over 30,000 party workers. He called upon the workers to serve people and stressed on following ‘simple living and high thinking’ principle in life. “Simplicity has its own power which connects to masses. In the words of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, truth and simplicity is self-maintained and without any cost. Simplicity is paramount in public life. It should be our motto in life. So, address people’s problems with a sympathetic attitude. People are our ultimate master. So serve them with all humility and fulfill the promises made to them,” he said.
Between service and power, the former is the way to get closer to people. Thus, serve people and make space in their hearts, he advised. Expressing his indebtedness towards the people of Odisha for reposing faith in Biju Janata Dal, the CM said the two-decade-old party had turned into a social movement. In his address, Mr Patnaik also invoked the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. “People’s love for Mahatma Gandhi has made him immortal. The love of crores of Odias for Biju Babu has made him great too. Power, prestige and Property are insignificant as compared to people’s love,” he added.