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Jajati Karan
Saturday , April 05, 2014

Is the 'Modi Wave' working in Odisha?


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Less than two months back, in February, in an exclusive interview with Odisha's chief minister Naveen Patnaik, I had put this question to him. His reply was, in Odisha there is no Modi wave and this is simply media exaggeration. At that time while doing election related stories on the ground, the response that I got from the people validated Naveen's claim to a great extent. In early April with just few days left for the simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in Odisha, Naveen's take on 'Modi wave' may be fast losing ground. Not just because the opinion poll survey done by CNN-IBN in March says that in last one month BJP has gained a significant 13 % vote share and BJD has lost 3%; and that 40% voters in Odisha want to see Modi as PM, but because again while doing election ground reports, one....


Sunday , March 16, 2014

Battleground Odisha: War over before the battle could begin?


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The election bugle has been sounded, the battle dates declared and the ground all set for the big fight. In Odisha its twin battle - that for Lok Sabha and Assembly. As the political parties are heading toward the battleground, in this state, its exodus in Congress, problem of plenty in BJD and over dependency of the 'Modi wave' in BJP. First, let's know more on the Congress in the state. In the past, it had been a practice in the Congress, to change the state leadership of the party - the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Chief, just few months before the election. Many said this is one of the major reasons for the party performing so bad in those elections. This time the central leadership of the party and more particularly Rahul Gandhi did not make any such change in the state leadership and bestowed full power....


Tuesday , March 04, 2014

Can Naveen Patnaik be the X-factor post election?


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As the election dates near, it's time for political parties especially regional and smaller ones to decide in which side of the divide they are in. The choice is between the BJP led NDA, the Congress led UPA and the no one led Third Front. As these alliance equations are changing fast and would gain more momentum after the election dates are declared, it's interesting to know why Naveen Patnaik's party BJD is keeping itself away from these three choices, at least for the time being. BJD chief Naveen Patnaik in an interview given to CNN-IBN last week reiterated that his party would maintain equidistant from the Congress and the BJP. What he did say for the first time though after Narendra Modi was declared the Prime Minister candidate by the BJP is that he does not endorse Modi as a Prime Minister candidate as he is....


Friday , June 01, 2012

Why 'Chanakya' Pyari's attempt at toppling Naveen failed


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Though Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, the BJD MP and chief advisor to Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, was at the helm of affairs in the BJD for more than a decade, he held his first press conference on May 30, 2012. Some of the claims he made, mentioned below, in this hurriedly convened press conference could baffle even a novice in politics. As his attempted political coup against Naveen Patnaik failed, the question which many are now asking is: How could the 'Chanakya' of BJD commit such a blunder? Claim one: Pyari claimed that more than 90 per cent of the BJD candidates who got elected as MLAs in the last 2009 Assembly polls were recommended by him. If he would have wished to be the CM, he could have easily become so because Naveen Patnaik did not even know most of the MLAs. Pyari....


Thursday , April 19, 2012

Pipli Live in Maoist heartland


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It was half past midnight. I woke up to a loud bang on my door. "Sir, wake up fast. Some vehicles have just entered the forest," shouted my stringer at Kandhamal. Within five minutes, me and my cameraman were out of our guest house and headed straight into the jungle in our car. Barely a few kilometres into the forest road, I realised that I was not the only one who was chasing the vehicles. There was a convoy of six OBs and six cars behind me in the middle of the night inside the deep jungle in the Naxalite heartland - all in search of one man - Bososco Paolo, the Italian national abducted by the naxals. So whom were we chasing like mad in the Kandhamal jungles? The information which some of the local reporters had was that Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda has decided to release Bososco....


Saturday , March 14, 2009

BJD's big political gamble


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Even after Naveen Patnaik saved his govt by a voice vote in the Orissa Assembly, for over five minutes most of the journalists reporting from the press gallery were confused whether this was actually the trust vote or something else. The BJD apparently had the adequate number of MLAs' support to cross the magic figure of 74, but suddenly chose to go for the voice vote. The Congress and the BJD could not have asked for more just before the elections. Both these parties are now successfully trying to make the most of this controversy against the BJD as common voters remain confused over this 'undemocratic act' by the BJD. Someone for sure had ill-advised the Speaker for the voice vote when they had the numbers to prove majority. Many in the BJD feel, it's like the mistake the BJD has committed by breaking the BJP-BJD alliance. The BJD has....


Thursday , February 26, 2009

'Pyari' - Naveen


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For a pre-poll election programme my channel had assigned me to take reactions of few MPs from Orissa about their performances in their constituencies in last five years. The MPs from BJP and Congress readily agreed but there was no word from most of the BJD MPs. I became curious to know why most of the BJD MPs were either refusing or avoiding to react on camera, though all of them had happily given me interviews in the past. To find out the reason I straightaway went to a prominent BJD MP's house and asked him: Is there any problem? The problem is 'Pyari', the MP said. 'Pyari' is closely watching us, and any wrong reaction from me in the media might cost me my ticket for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. A few weeks ago the Cuttack Municipal elections had concluded. The BJD registered a remarkable victory by....


Monday , March 31, 2008

Sex, lies and 'netas'


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It was in the year 1997. I had just passed out from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and had taken up my first job as a reporter in a local news channel in Bhubaneswar. The first big news that I came across in those days was that of a victim named Anjana Mishra alleging sexual harassment charges against the then advocate general of the state - Indrajeet Ray. The public mood and the media attention were in favour of the alleged victim. But for over a year the then chief minister of Orissa - J.B. Patnaik defended the advocate general who was believed to be very close to him. Finally the congress high command - Sonia Gandhi had to intervene and both the advocate general and the chief minister were sacked. The incident had damaged the party so badly that it became one of the main reasons for....


Saturday , March 01, 2008

The Battle Within


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The enemy isn't clear when you are fighting Naxals.
"Who are these Naxals? They are nothing. If we want we can finish them within no time. We have huge force. I am ready to fight them," Assistant Commissioner of Bhubaneswar police, Nirmal Sathpathy told news channels. He had just received the dead body of his younger brother, Assistant commandant of special operation group Pramod Satpathy, who was brutally killed by the Naxals in the operation that followed after the rebels attacked Nayagarh. As many as 15 policemen had died in that attack on February 15. The question, which the ACP raised, though in the spur of emotion and anger, often haunts many of us. Why is our huge armed force not able to crush the Naxals. The endless debate is often whether the naxal problem is a law and order problem or a socio-economic problem. ....


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Jajati Karan is senior correspondent, Odisha, with CNN-IBN.
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