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What worked for Naveen Patnaik to fetch a record fifth term in Odisha? Experts discuss

Updated : May 29, 2019 11:27 PM IST

Biju Janta Dal (BJD) founder Naveen Patnaik took oath as the chief minister of Odisha for the fifth time on Wednesday. The 72-year old, who has been in office since 2000, led his party to a massive Assembly win, bagging 112 out of the 147 seats.

So far, only Jyoti Basu of West Bengal and Pawan Chamling of Sikkim have been chief ministers for five terms. In a first of sorts for Patnaik, his swearing-in ceremony took place in full public view, outside the Raj Bhavan.

Here's what experts believe worked for Patnaik to fetch a fifth terms for himself in the state:

Tathagata Satpathy, editor of Dharitri: "The self-help groups being organised and women being involved in it and a lot of money going directly to the women was definitely effective because the women voters were about 2.86 crore in Odisha and that did have an impact... however, political aspect is the Congress leadership in the state was somehow manipulated...so, the Congress became a complete mess. The pity was that the individual candidates of the BJP also were not prepared to fight the battle I felt. So, the unpreparedness of the BJP and Congress was very visible whereas the BJD which has been well-entrenched in the state for a long period of time managed to do everything properly like move the funds to reach the right kind of people, have perfect observers, etc.."

Jajati Karan, editor-in-chief, Ommcom News: "The welfare schemes that he has launched in Odisha — there are more than 20 welfare schemes in Odisha... he has a strong women-votebank in Odisha, especially because there are more than 70 lakh self-help groups which he had formed under the Mission Shakti policy... he has maintained the clean image which is very dear to his heart and no matter what allegations have been made against him, nothing is ticking."
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