New Modi-Naveen Bonhomie—An Indication of Changing Political Arithmetic

Author : Odisha Today Bureau | Posted on: 2019-05-14

The Biju Janata Dal government in Odisha on Monday praised the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for its support to tackle cyclone ‘Fani’ that killed at least 64 people and rendered over five lakh families homeless.


Prime Minister Modi had also praised Naveen Patnaik during his visit to Odisha on May 6 and said, “Naveen Babu has done a commendable job in evacuating people in the coastal areas to avoid loss of lives.” And on the same day the PM also sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore as interim assistance after conducting an aerial survey of the cyclone-affected areas along with the Mr. Patnaik.

PM Modi taking an aerial survey of the cyclone affected areas along with CM Naveen Patnaik


The PM on Monday announced ex gratia of 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and 50,000 to the seriously injured, as the death toll in cyclone ‘Fani’ rose to 35 in Odisha.


Mr. Modi directed the State and Central government officers of power, telecom and railways to ensure restoration of services at the earliest.


Similarly, provision of five lakh disaster-resilient affordable houses which would require 7,000 crore was sought at the review meeting. The State government demanded special allotment under the Prime Minister Awas Yojna with 90:10 funding ratio.


 “At the outset, I would like to thank the Union Government for the support rendered to the State of Odisha to effectively manage the extremely severe cyclone ‘Fani’ and its aftermath,” CM Naveen Patnaik wrote to PM Narendra Modi on Monday while seeking five lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for the cyclone-hit State.


The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) also thanked Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for sanctioning 1,000 kilolitre of kerosene for distribution among the cyclone-hit people.


Without delay, Mr. Pradhan had announced release of additional quota of kerosene a day after the CM wrote a letter to him seeking the sanction of 1,000 KL of kerosene for Fani-affected areas.


In a tweet the CMO mentioned, “Thank Union Minister Sri@dpradhanbjp for considering our request to provide 1,000 KL of kerosene oil free of cost to #CycloneFani ravaged #Odisha. It would help meet the immediate demand of kerosene oil for lighting purpose”.


The ruling BJD, which all along during campaigning for the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls accused the BJP of "ignoring" the interest of Odisha, was now all praise for the Central government.


The sudden softening of stand by the BJD supremo after a bitter election campaign has fuelled speculation over post-poll ties between the ruling BJD and BJP.

Considering the growing exchange of compliments between the two leaders, political observers in Bhubaneswar recalled how BJD and BJP were alliance partners during Patnaik's first two terms as CM.

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