Naveen Patnaik Biography

About Naveen Patnaik

Naveen Patnaik has been the Chief Minister of Odisha (Orissa) since March 2000. He was sworn in to the position for a third consecutive term on May 21, 2009. He is the founder and president of Biju Janata Dal, a regional party based in Odisha. This articulate writer returned to India and joined politics after his father Biju Patnaik’s demise in 1996. He was elected from Hinjili constituency in Ganjam district in 2009.


He was born on October 16, 1946, in Cuttack, Odisha (Orissa). His father Biju Patnaik was a politician and a Janata Dal leader. Naveen Patnaik was educated at Welham Boys’ School and The Doon School, Dehradun. He graduated from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

Naveen Patnaik has authored three books: ‘A Second Paradise’, ‘A Desert Kingdom’ and ‘The Garden of Life’. He is also the founder member of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). His sister Gita Mehta, an author, is married to Ajai Singh ‘Sonny’ Mehta, who is currently the editor-in-chief of Alfred A. Knopf in New York. Naveen Patnaik is unmarried.

Political career

Naveen Patnaik joined politics after his father’s death in 1996. He was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha in a bye-election from the Aska constituency in 1996 as a Janata Dal candidate. While in Lok Sabha, he was a member of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Steel & Mines, and of the Standing Committee on Commerce.

In 1997, the Janata Dal split and Naveen Patnaik formed the Biju Janata Dal party. It won the Assembly elections in alliance with BJP in Odisha in 2000. Naveen Patnaik, who was serving as Union Minister of Mines in the BJP-led NDA government, resigned from the Union Cabinet and was sworn in as Chief Minister of Odisha.

He was again sworn in as Chief Minister in 2004, after winning the state assembly elections in alliance with BJP. However, communal violence in 2007 in Kandhamal district soured his relationship with BJP.

In 2009, the BJD walked out of the NDA alliance and tied up with the Left parties before the State Assembly elections. BJD won in both the Lok Sabha as well as Vidhan Sabha elections. The BJD won 14 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats and 103 out of 147 Vidhan Sabha seats.

On May 21, 2009, Naveen Patnaik was sworn in as Chief Minister of Odisha for a third consecutive term.

Naveen Patnaik clinched a huge victory again in 2014 in both the Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly elections. His party secured 117 of the 147 Odisha Vidhan Sabha seats and 20 out of the state’s 21 Lok Sabha seats. He is known to be a clean politician and a popular leader among the people of his state.