In the Niti Aayog meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said it is “high time that the country gets out of election mode and allows state governments to function.”
“Elections are an essential feature of democracy. However, the hallmark of a mature democracy is that once elected, governments are meant to work for people, beyond party lines. It’s high time that we, as a country, have serious introspection on whether we are able to do the same. Every crime is being politicised, every action of an elected government is being seen from a political angle,” he said while describing the present atmosphere as one of the biggest threats to the pace of development and peace in the country.
Further, Patnaik emphasised on women’s reservation in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, urging for serious deliberations to take it ahead.
Patnaik further pushed for committed and targeted action by the NITI Aayog in taking along regions that are neglected and populations that are vulnerable in areas such as “malnutrition, connectivity, sex ratio imbalances”.
Arguing that the existing pattern of examinations will eliminate merit in the long run and deny justice to lakhs of children in rural areas, Patnaik also pitched for a revaluation of the examination pattern for UPSC, NEET, JEE, asking: “Should we not have exams that focus on equality and attracting merit as opposed to exam patterns that are heavily dependent on highly paid coaching classes?”
Patnaik hailed India’s “unified approach” in tackling the Covid-19 challenge. He pointed out that the European countries and the United States could not put up a “united front”. Patnaik argued for the “same unified response and inclusive approach to be adopted for all major challenges facing the country in the true spirit of cooperative federalism.”
He ended his speech by saying that “history will remember us on what our response has been on critical issues affecting our people and the country, rising above political considerations.”
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