Naveen Still Going Strong As BJD Celebrates Foundation Day

Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which turned 24 years on Sunday (December 26), is celebrating its foundation day in all blocks across Odisha in the presence of elected representatives and members of youth, student and women wings of the party.

On the occasion, BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the party has gained strength with the love of the people of the state and its dedicated workers.

The party supremo will be joining a meeting to be held at BJD’s party office at Unit-6, Bhubaneswar, with COVID-19 protocols at 4.30 pm and address the party members through video conferencing. He had earlier asked the party leaders to dedicate themselves to the service of people and gain their confidence to serve them in a better way.

However, when Naveen, along with several other erstwhile Janata Dal leaders, founded the regional party in 1997 following the demise of his father Biju Patnaik, many had doubted its longevity and impact on Odisha politics.

Standing under a giant cut-out of his father at Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar, Naveen, then a new entrant to politics, had announced that he and a large number of legislators were breaking away from the Janata Dal (JD) to form the BJD. “My father had a lot of dreams for Odisha. To realise those dreams is our goal,” he had said while promptly declaring that the new party would have an alliance with the BJP.

The alliance has ceased to exist since 2008 but Naveen has grown in both strength and stature. He has been winning elections after elections and currently serving Odisha as its CM for the fifth successive term, dispelling all conjectures about his party and leadership.

While political observers had earlier speculated that it would be curtains for BJD after Naveen becomes older and infirm, the reticent leader has prepared a roadmap to make the party a very strong political force in the state, while “fulfilling father’s dreams and taking his vision to the next century”.

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