Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

'High time country gets out of poll mode and allows elected governments to function': Odisha CM

ANI | Updated: Feb 20, 2021 21:02 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], February 20 (ANI): Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said that 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, the chief minister said.
"Elections are an essential feature of democracy. However, the hallmark of a mature democracy is that once elected, governments are meant to work for people, beyond the party line," Patnaik said addressing the NITI Aayog's governing council meeting on Saturday.
"It is high time that we, as a country, have serious introspection on whether we are able to do the same," said Patnaik.
It's high time the country gets out of this election mode and allows elected Governments to function, the Odisha CM said.
Patnaik was speaking at the sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
Patnaik further addressing the meeting said, "My speech has been circulated which deals with the agenda points and requirements for our State and the people. It speaks of the just demands of our State relating to Railways, Telecom, Banking, reduction in a central fund, special focus States in view of frequent disasters, the inclusion of some of our important languages in the 8th schedule, etc. However, I would utilize this time to reflect on some of the issues/concerns that affect us as a country today and the NITI Aayog in dealing with them."
He also stated that national parties had promised women's reservations both in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, adding that history will not forgive the renegement on this commitment and therefore it calls for serious deliberation and taking it forward.
"If the country has to really move forward, regions that 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," stated the Chief Minister.
Stating that lakhs of young people appear for national level exams every year - the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), etc, he added 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?" questioned the Chief Minister.
He said that this will truly eliminate merit in the long run and deny justice to lakhs of children who live in rural areas and don't have physical or economic access to coaching classes, asserting that the NITI Aayog should look into this very serious issue or else in a few years' there will be serious distortions.
"NITI Aayog should develop into a repository of innovations drawn from the country and across the world and help replicate it. Futuristic technologies, a new world economy, solutions for climate change, inclusive governance models are some areas that can be focused on. Many critical issues are being raised in the NITI Aayog deliberations and excellent suggestions are also being made. It would be appropriate for NITI Aayog to share the action taken report with everyone concerned. This will make our deliberations more meaningful and action-oriented," Patnaik said.
He also remarked that a number of proposals of different states relating to the inclusion of tribal communities in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list have been pending from 1978 onwards and many of them are subsets on phonetic variations of the names of existing ST communities, pointing that it is unjust to keep these pending for years without a decision.
"Covid-19 was a challenge for the world and India showed with its unified response what is possible. European countries and the United States could not put up a unified front. The same unified response and inclusive approach should be adopted for all major challenges facing the country in the true spirit of cooperative federalism," said the Chief Minister.
"History will remember us for what our response has been on critical issues affecting our people and the country, raising above political considerations," he said. (ANI)