Mandate 2024 | Will Naveen make or be history?

The BJD patriarch faces his fiercest challenge ever as a determined BJP works to stymie his bid to become India’s longest-serving chief minister

Sunset has turned the sky a flaming red, in step with the crimson of the blooming Gulmohar trees that line the route of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s roadshow in the heart of state capital Bhubaneswar on May 20. A gentle breeze brings relief from the humid heat for the mass of supporters that throng either side. Women in elegant Sambalpuris, the intricately-woven handloom saris native to the state, wave green BJD (Biju Janata Dal) flags, the white conch shell symbol of the party shimmering in the centre. Some are even sporting cardboard face masks of his. Three rows of dhol players drum up a percussion storm as women in tribal attire perform the Dalkhai, the popular rhythmic folk dance of harvest season.Read More