Odisha's Administration Scrambles To Find a 'New CM House'

Odisha’s new CM face is yet to be revealed by BJP, but on the other side the state administration is struggling to find CM house. Till now, Odisha doesn’t have an official CM residence, because state’s long serving Mr. Patnaik chose to stay at his own home, Naveen niwas. For 24 years now, he’s been operating from the same place.

A bizzare concern surfaces in Odisha politics, as the entire state administrators and officials now scramble to find a new CM house.
Orissa has recently undergone state assembly elections along with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, and the BJP party has successfully managed to dethrone over 2 decades old incumbency of Naveen Patnaik’s govt.

As, BJP is still deciding the new CM face, on the other side the state is struggling with ” where the CM is going to stay”.

But a house to a state’s CM is in the perks to the minister provided by the govt. So, why Odisha is struggling with this concern?

Well, Mr. Naveen Patnaik in his 24-year tenure never stayed at the house provided by the government. After he sworn in as the state minister in 2000, he chose to stay at his own house, Naveen Niwas which – a palatial mansion which was built by his father and former chief minister Biju-Patnaik. He performed all his chief ministerial, official, administrative works from Naveen Niwas only.

This decision of Mr. Patnaik eventually set a unique precedent in the state’s political history. Mr. Patnaik was about to become the longest serving state CM of India, but he fell just 1 month shorter, as the BJP party won the elections.

Search for new house carries on..

A senior govt. official said that the administration has enlisted several vacant quarters like the current chief minister’s grievance cell. However, he also mentioned that the transition won’t be immediate. Once a space is selected, it will undergo necessary renocations and installation of facilities.

As of the now, the govt. is planning to prepare the state guest house ready for the new CM’s temporary accomodation.

Past CM residences’

In the past, former Congress CMs JB Patnaik and Giridhar Gamang used to stay in a govt. quarter between Raj Bhavan and AG Square. It was this house which was later converted to CM’s greivance cell by Patnaik.

Basanta Kumar Stapathy, retired govt. official said that during JB Patnaik’s tenure (1980-89 and 1995-99), he use to stay at the building which is now CM’s greivance cell. and Giridhar Gamang also in his tenure stayed up there only.

Shishir Gamang, son of former CM Giridhar said, “Many states have exclusive official residence for their CMs. The house where we lived during my father’s tenure as chief minister was not the official residence of the CM. The house had undergone renovation during JB Patnaik’s tenure”.

He also added that, “My father used to meet people at our home, which was accessible to all. We all saw how the govt kept Naveen Niwas off limits and prevented entry of common people. The new chief minister’s residence should be accessible to the people after proper security checks.”