CM’s Stoic Silence as Japanese Encephalitis Claims over 50 Lives in Odisha


Bhubaneswar: The outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in Malkangiri district in the State of Odisha has claimed more than 50 lives but the Chief Minister is yet to speak on the issue. Compared to the 2012 outbreak which had claimed 24 reported deaths this year the rise is number of deaths is alarming.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s silence suggests that the administration has not apprised him over the issue. While the Chief Minister is busy inaugurating projects and trying to showcase the achievements of his government prior to the panchayat polls and the lack of empathy of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government has raised many eyebrows among the intellectuals of the State.

Political observers feel that the Chief Minister’s action on his erring party colleagues has been too little over the past few years. May it be the discretionary quota in allotment of land to his cabinet colleagues issue or the Nabakalevara issue the Chief Minister has maintained a consistent silence. Health care, sanitation, higher education which is the basic necessity of the society is being overlooked and is crumbling by the passage of every single day.

Kautilya in his “Arthasastra” had mentioned “an ideal king is one who has the highest qualities of leadership, intellect, energy and personal attributes”. In a vibrant democracy like India, a State government elected by the people with a thumping majority expects the same from its Chief Minister. For over 15 long years the Biju Janata Dal has been in power in the State without a break. Expectations of delivery of basic health care at every nook and corner of the State should have been achieved in all these years but the ground reality is contrary.

Now the civil society has just one request, “Mr Chief Minister, please wake up from your deep slumber!”


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