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Shock Therapy Or Winning Strategy: Naveen Patnaik’s New Cabinet Has Young Women Faces, Eyes On 2024 Polls

Playing a master stroke is a habit with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. But, the latest one caught his band of ministers by surprise. Emboldened by the recent bypoll win in Brajrajnagar and the Panchayat polls earlier, Patnaik did the apparently unthinkable –asking all his ministers to resign en masse on Saturday (June 4) and rejigged the 21-member new cabinet with new faces the next day. Non-performers were shown the door. Surprisingly, Governor Ganesh Lal approved the entire exercise without quibbles. In simpler words Modi’s dispensation did not throw any spanners in the works. Seasoned politicians from Odisha say no Odisha Chief Minister ever, including Naveen’s father Biju Patnaik, had the audacity to do what he did at such a short notice. His decision was with some purpose. Naveen babu clearly wants his party BJD to sweep the 2024 Lok Sabha election in Odisha. To ensure the win, he did away with deadwood, controversial ministers and sycophant advisors. While 20 ministers quit, Naveen gave cabinet berths to only nine. Five women and, seven people elected from western Odisha, considered a stronghold of BJP were also accommodated. Some political analysts are calling it a shock therapy while others are saying it’s Patnaik’s winning strategy. There is no denying that Patnaik remains an undisputable hero for some time to come.