Odisha is an Indian state with a rich and powerful legacy of politicians. There is little doubt that what happens politically in Odisha has dramatic ramifications for the country. So, in preparation for the Odisha Elections 2019, it is only fitting that a list be created of the top 5 most powerful politicians, past and present, of the region.
Mahatab lived from 1800 – 1987, and was the Chief Minister of Odisha from 1946-1950, as well as from 1956-1961. During his time as a political figure, Mahatab pushed for many dramatic changes in Odisha, such as the shifting of the region’s capital and the merging of princely states into the region. He eventually became the Vice-President of the Indian National Congress in 1966.
Patnaik lived from 1916 – 1997 and was the third Chief Minister of Odisha for two terms. A champion of both the Indonesian freedom struggle and the socialist and federalist movements of India, Patnaik was a people’s politician through and through. Loved by his constituency, Patnaik remains an influential figure in Odisha politics even after his death.
Patnaik lived from 1927 – 2015 and was the Chief Minister of Odisha from 1980 – 1989, and then once again from 1995 – 1999. A Sanskrit-Oriya scholar, Patnaik translated at least three notable works into his mother tongue. His commitment to scholarly works and academia made Patnaik a unique political figure.
Panda is currently a member of the Lok Sabha in Odisha. A fiery and committed politician, Panda is known for his political drive. An ardent support of migrant laborer rights, Panda’s political career is far from over.
Naveen Patnaik is the current 14th Chief Minister of Odisha. A writer and scholar, he holds the record for the most terms as an Odisha Chief Minister. His Biju Janata Dal party secured 20 out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, and 117 out of the 146 Odisha Vidhan Sabha seats that were available, in the 2014 elections. This makes Patnaik the undoubted favorite going into the 2019 elections. The election results 2019 will hold for Odisha are from decided, with players such as Panda and Patnaik in the running. Is there a politician from this list you know of, or someone you have your eye on for the 2019 elections?