DC Edit | Odisha: Another young BJP CM

The selection of Mohan Charan Majhi as chief minister of Odisha which has elected the BJP to power for the first time ever, ending the unbroken 24-year rule of Naveen Patnaik and his Biju Janata Dal, fits into the pattern the saffron party has employed in several other states and promises to widen the acceptance the party has got in the mineral-rich but impoverished eastern state.

Mr Majhi, a tribal leader and a four-time MLA, supersedes several BJP top guns including Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan. The choice must have a lot to do with the fact that 22.85 per cent of the state’s pollution is made up of tribal people. That Mr Majhi is a non-controversial leader with a clean image must have added to his electability.

The BJP leadership’s search for chief ministers in several states where the party has come to power recently often overlooks the claims of the veterans and ends with the selection of relatively unknown young faces who would pose no questions to it. They are also kept under leash with a couple of deputy chief ministers who would take care of the interests of the several social factions which the party thinks are important for its success.

Odisha is perhaps the biggest paradox India has ever produced. The state with immense natural resources is one of the poorest and there has been no substantial change in the fortunes of the people in the several decades after independence. The state is one of the richest Indian states in terms of its history and culture, but it has not helped the people make advances in their lives. If Mr Majhi’s selection is not just a token which the BJP can go to the town with, and if the party and the new CM mean business, then it will mark a new dawn in the history of the state.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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