What Mamata Should Learn from Naveen

Bhubaneswar: India has never before seen a political state of affairs as it is now. While there is a leaning towards unipolar concentration of power in the hands of the Central Government, the States are left with little autonomy with them.

With the changing paradigms, the states – in other words, the leaders of the states have to devise a way out for themselves. This becomes necessary when the question of development is foremost. For the betterment of the people and keeping a healthy relationship with the Center, State governments have to adopt the Middle Path – the Path which will create a win-win situation for all.

While discussing on the political state of affairs in India, the regional parties have also a greater say. Though they have a different agenda from that of the national ones, they have managed to outperform in many places. And the success of the regional parties depends on the leadership.

The two neighboring states of Eastern India – Odisha and West Bengal are being ruled by two prominent regional parties – Biju Janata Dal and the Trinamool Congress. The parties have a clear majority in their respective states.

The people have given them the mandate. But today, the situation has changed. There has been a change in equilibrium. While cooperative federalism has failed, the need of the hour is Constructive Cooperation.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been a vocal supporter of this Constructive Cooperation. And his neighbor counterpart, Mamata Banerjee needs to adopt the same for the betterment of her State and people.

In a country where the Constitution prevails, there cannot be any clash between the State and the Center. Political differences should never come before the agenda of development.

But in West Bengal, it seems that Mamata Banerjee is resisting the center’s hegemony and fighting for greater say of the State in policy making. It is seen that the differences have full blown now and taken a political color creating chaos in the Bengal.

When we compare this with Odisha and its leadership, we can see a clear difference. Odisha Chief Minister has been vocal in demanding the State’s needs at the Center. The State rightfully needs a Special Status in India due to many reasons, to which the Center has not heeded. But Naveen has never gone out of procedure. He has maintained a good relationship with the Center and wherever required in the nation’s interest, supported national issues. He has fulfilled his constitutional obligations well and chooses a middle path.

Last elections in Odisha saw a heightened verbal fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Biju Janata Dal. The BJD won a thumping majority but that has not affected the State’s relationship with the Center. Naveen has kept a cordial rapport with the central government.

When we compare this with Mamata Banerjee and her actions, we can say she has gone an extra mile in hating the Central Government. She even did not receive the phone calls made from the PMO’s office twice in protest when the Cyclone Fani pounded Odisha and Bengal. Becoming jittery over a political rival’s grown will not help in the development process. In a true federal country, the States have also a role to play. If rivalry leads to stopping of central schemes being implemented, ultimately the states would loose.

So, we can say that Mamata Didi needs to learn many things from her neighborhood counterpart and desist from challenging the center always. For the development of the State, she has to work in coordination with the center and execute her Constitutional duties.

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