Naveen Patnaik is an Indian politician and current Chief Minister of the state of Orissa. He is also the President of Biju Janta Dal, a regional party having its firm base in Orissa.
Naveen Patnaik was born on 16th October, 1946 in Cuttack, Orissa to Biju Patnaik and Gyan Patnaik. His father was former Chief Minister and an active freedom fighter. Naveen remained a bachelor throughout his life. He has one elder brother, Prem Patnaik who is a Delhi based business man and one sister Gita Mehta, who is a renowned author.
At an age of 7 years he went to Welham Boy’s School, Dehradun. But later he shifted to the famous Doon School from where he received his senior Cambridge Certificate at the age of 17 years. He completed his graduation in arts stream from the Kirorimal College, Delhi University.
Naveen Patnaik remained aloof from politics and was better known as a writer. But his father’s death compelled him to undertake new responsibilities and gave new definition and direction to his life. Thereafter, he entered into active politics in 1997. A year later, he formed a political party known as Biju Janta Dal. Like his father, Naveen Patnaik effectively manages the errant bureaucracy and impressively channelizes the same as a better machinery working congenially for the development of the state.
He was elected as Member of Parliament in the 11th Lok Sabha from the Aska Parliamentary Constituency in Orissa. He was made the Minister of Mines in A.B. Vajpayee’s government. In the year 2000, the BJP-BJD led coalition party performed well in the state legislative assembly elections and Naveen left his portfolio at centre and joined the state politics. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Orissa for the first time. But this was just a beginning of a long journey. This success was repeated in 2004 state assembly elections. But in 2009, his party split from NDA and shook hands with Left Front. The old ties were strained after the Kandhmal anti Christian riots took place in the state in 2007-08. Breaking up from a national alliance never affected the party’s performance. His party won 14 out of 21 seats of Lok Sabha and 103 out of 147 seats in Rajya Sabha in the year 2009. He took the oath of Chief Minister on 21st May 2009 for the third consecutive time. He had served as a member of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Steel and Mines. He was also a member of standing committee on commerce and member Library committee of Parliament.
He is widely known for his pro-poor and anti-corruption policies. He repeatedly emphasizes over attaining the self sufficiency by promoting the national market. He has specifically framed policies and uplifted the condition and status of handloom industry in the state.
Apart from politics he is an author of 3 books namely A Second Paradise: Indian Country life; A desert Kingdom: The people of Bikaner and the Garden of life: An introduction to the healing Plants of India. All three books have been published in India, England and U.S. He is also the founder member of Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage.