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Standing Ovation For Naveen

It was not Mahastami of Durga Puja on 8 April. This Western Odisha town used to line up on both sides of the roads to witness the age-old and famous “Chhatar Jatra” of Maa Manikeswari. People pay their respect to the Jatra, a culture that tribals and royals celebrate every year.


However, the entire Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi district, witnessed a scene akin to Chhatar Jatra on 8 April as Governing BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister hit a road show ahead of the first phase of polling in the district.

As Naveen stood atop his hi-tech bus and waved hands, thousands burst into cheers welcoming their Chief Minister, who moved at a close distance from them. “It is sort of Naveen Wave sweeping in Kalahandi”, said a beaming Pushpendra Singh Deo.

Odisha’s bachelor and four-time Chief Minister, who has already completed 19 years in office, however, did not open his lips. A simple gesture with smile on his face was sufficient to make people happy.

Beginning from shops, malls, cinema halls and tea stalls till roof tops, all witnessed sea of crowd.

Men, women and children, all were on the road side as Naveen’s hi-tech bus passed through the lanes of Bhawanipatna town.

The gathering comprised mostly women and young girls, who feel at home in Naveen. The women were most enthusiastic as if they get a life time chance to have a glimpse of their leader.  

“He is the real hero, who works and talks less. He has done a lot for the uplift of women who remained neglected both at the home and the workplace. It is Naveen who for the first time game prestige to women,” said an elderly woman, Sumuti Majhi standing near the Shiv Temple in Bhawanipatna town.

The people of Bhawanipatna never asked questions to Naveen about his government’s alleged negligence to the Western region of the state as alleged by BJP leaders. They simply stood up to show their heartfelt welcome to their Chief Minister.  Naveen’s road show was unique and unparalleled. Never before, the people had seen such a tall leader close to their houses.

Naveen, however, frequently asks the people: “Are you Happy, I am glad.”

These simple words of Naveen had already become a slogan this time in 2019 elections. And opposition often criticize the Chief Minister over his one liner.

However, Naveen is least bothered about what critics say. He continues to remain connected with the people and works for them without talking much.

After a lot of heli-hopping in previous four elections across the state, Naveen has this time come out to election campaign in a bus, which could move in lanes and by lanes of urban pockets as well in villages.

Keeping aside traditional campaign by using modest mid-sized cars, he has chosen a fully air-conditioned high-tech bus this time around.
The bus costing about Rs 1 crore is fitted with a 16-tonne AC, hydraulic lift, bed, comfortable sofa, audio-visual set and washroom with modern toilet besides a conference hall and VSAT facility.
Equipped with internet and satellite TV, it resembles a luxury hotel room.
The bus has facility to get lifted through the sun-roof in this bullet-proof bus.
Naveen’s bus has become a hit in all places where he has been on the campaign.
 


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