Allow elected govts to function: Odisha CM at NITI Aayog

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said it’s high time the country should get out of this election mode and allow the elected government to function.

“Every crime is being politicised, every action of an elected government is being seen from a political angle. This kind of atmosphere is one of the biggest threats to the pace of development and peace in the country. Its high time the country gets out of this election mode and allows elected governments to function,” said the Chief Minister.

He was addressing the NITI Aayog’s sixth Governing Council meeting, via video conferencing, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.

He said elections are an essential feature of a democracy.

“However, the hallmark of a mature democracy is that once elected, Government are meant to work for people, beyond party line. Its high time that we as a country have serious introspection on whether we are able to do the same,” Patnaik asked.

The Chief Minister called upon a serious deliberation on the past promises of national parties on women’s reservation both in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

“History will not forgive us if we renege on this commitment. This calls for a serious deliberation and taking it forward,” he added.

Notably, his party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has been demanding passage of the women reservation bill in the Parliament.

“If the country has to really move forward, regions which are neglected and populations that are vulnerable have to be taken along. Committed and targeted action is needed for that. NITI Aayog has a major role to play in this. Specific sections that need focus like malnutrition, connectivity, sex ratio imbalances etc,” advised the Chief Minister.

Stating that lakhs of our young people appear for national level exams every year – the UPSC exam, NEET, and JEE, Patnaik said that a critical look is needed to re-evaluate the examination pattern for these prestigious and highly sought-after exams.

“Should not we have exams that focus on equality and attracting merit as opposed to exam patterns that are heavily dependent on highly paid coaching classes. This will truly eliminate merit in the long run and deny justice to lakhs of our children who live in rural areas and don’t have physical or economic access to coaching classes,” said Patnaik.

“NITI Aayog should look into this very serious issue or else in a few years’, there will be serious distortions,” he added.

He said NITI Aayog should develop into a repository of innovations drawn from the country and across the world and help replicate it.

Citing how India set an example with its unified response against the Covid-19 pandemic, Patnaik said that the same unified response and inclusive approach should be adopted for all major challenges facing the country in the true spirit of cooperative federalism.

“History will remember us on what our response has been on critical issues affecting our people and the country, raising above political considerations,” said the Chief Minister.