Bhubaneswar : Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha, reached a historic milestone in his political career on Saturday, as he surpassed former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu to become the second longest-serving Chief Minister of a state in India. With an illustrious tenure of 23 years and 139 days, Patnaik has cemented his position as one of the most enduring leaders in Indian politics.
Taking charge on March 5, 2000, Naveen Patnaik has held the reins of Odisha’s government for an impressive 23 years and 139 days. This accomplishment places him ahead of Jyoti Basu, who served as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for 23 years and 137 days, from June 21, 1977, to November 5, 2000.
The only leader to have served as Chief Minister for a longer period is Pawan Kumar Chamling, the former Chief Minister of Sikkim. Chamling holds the record for being the longest-serving Chief Minister in India, with an extraordinary tenure of over 25 years, from December 12, 1994, to May 26, 2019.
Naveen Patnaik’s political journey began in 1997, after the demise of his father, the legendary leader Biju Patnaik. In honor of his father’s legacy, he founded a new political party on December 26, 1997, breaking away from the Janata Dal. Patnaik’s vision and leadership quickly earned him recognition among the people of Odisha, leading him to become their Chief Minister in 2000.
Before his stint as Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik also served as the Union Minister of Steel and Mines from 1998 to 2000, showcasing his dedication to public service both at the state and national levels. He also served as a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from the Aska constituency between 1997 and 2000.
Throughout his tenure, Naveen Patnaik has been credited with implementing various developmental projects, bringing positive changes to the lives of Odisha’s citizens. His focus on welfare schemes, infrastructure development, and disaster management has earned him praise from across the political spectrum.
Under Patnaik’s leadership, Odisha has achieved significant progress in sectors like education, healthcare, and industrial growth. His government’s proactive approach during natural calamities has garnered widespread appreciation, as it helped mitigate the impact of cyclones and floods, saving countless lives.
As the news of Naveen Patnaik’s historic achievement spreads across the nation, colleagues from various political parties have congratulated him on this remarkable feat. Many have acknowledged his leadership and dedication to the welfare of the people of Odisha.
While Naveen Patnaik’s journey as the Chief Minister enters its 24th year, it remains to be seen whether he will challenge the record of Pawan Kumar Chamling and go on to become the longest-serving Chief Minister in the history of India. Regardless of records, his legacy as a visionary leader and his contributions to the development of Odisha will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the state’s political landscape.