DC Edit | A shock in Odisha, a surprise in Andhra

If a shocking result was in store for India’s second longest serving chief minister Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, there was a pleasant surprise in an overwhelming show of support for N. Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh.

Just 78 days short of overtaking former Sikkim CM and Sikkim Democratic Front president Pawan Chamling as a CM who served for close to 25 years, Naveen may be taking a bow, his age and perceived fitness issues perhaps working against him. As his regional party B JD makes way for the national BJP, Mr Patnaik will leave with a record of public service that will be hard to match.

It was predicted that the BJP’s gains in Odisha would help compensate for losses elsewhere, but it was in Andhra that its timely alliance with Chandrababu Naidu's TDP and the Janasena party of filmstar Pawan Kalyan was to fetch equally handsome returns. The former CM who had left the Andhra Assembly three years ago with tears in his eyes as he and his family were insulted did what he had sworn to do, which was to return to the chamber only as CM.

A perceptible lack of sustained governance, preoccupation with settling scores with the TDP chief which may have resulted in swinging sympathy Mr Naidu’s way, and little progress in shaping a capital or three capitals for a state that used to pride itself in being a bellwether in national politics, may have facilitated the remarkable comeback victory scored by him over Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP.

Promising inclusive growth and stability, Mr Naidu charted his way back after having served as the first CM of the residuary Andhra state from 2014, climbing from the lowest point of his long political career when jailed on a graft charge and needing the court to bail him out. The voters may have found his focus on sustainable development attractive even if the welfare initiatives of YSCRP did put money in the pockets of the poor.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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