Naveen Patnaik, the longest serving Chief Minister of Odisha, turned 75 today. He is now in fifth successive term in office and he derives the massive vote bank support from the rural womenfolk.
Patnaik’s never-ending affair with rural women of Odisha through self-help groups and ‘Mission Shakti’, the flagship women empowerment programme of the state government with over 70 lakh women beneficiaries is what he is heavily banking on.
Opposition leaders also confess Naveen Patnaik has cast a spell on women voters empowering rural women by providing interest-free loan through ‘Mission Shakti’ that really makes them self independent financially and they no longer depend on family members for their personal needs.
Why rural women vote Naveen blindly:
In fact, the bachelor Chief Minister has no familial strings attached to him and that is the source of his clean political image, as believed by the political observers.
The flagship ‘Mission Shakti’ programme of the BJD government provides interest-free loans for taking up income generating activities that has given economic independence and self respect to rural women.
They have also been roped in for various ongoing government schemes.
Naveen’s call for reservation of 50 percent of seats in panchayati raj institutions and 33 percent Lok Sabha seats for women in last general elections has convinced them that Naveen really cares for them.
Besides, Naveen, the man of few words never politicises crimes against women.