My dream is to make Odisha number 1 state in India: Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said his dream was to make Odisha the number one state in the country.

He also claimed that a record 80 lakh people in the state had been moved out of poverty.

Addressing the India Today Conclave on ‘The State of the State’ here, the chief minister said, “My cherished dream is to make Odisha the number one state in the country in every sector. We believe in work and our work reflects the aspirations of the 4.5 crore of our people.”

He said 50 lakh women were part of the Mission Shakti movement, leading to social and financial empowerment in the state since his government assumed power in 2000.

“We have come a long way from 2000. From being a rice- deficit state, we are the third largest contributor of rice to the public distribution system in the country,” Patnaik said.

He added that once known for subsistence agriculture, Odisha was now the only state in the country which had doubled the farmers’ income in the last decade.

The chief minister also said that the state, which was once known for its mismanagement of natural disasters, was now setting global benchmarks in disaster management.

He claimed that the unique character of this move had been inclusion and empowerment.

“Besides pulling eight million people out of poverty, Odisha is also the leading state in providing land rights to our tribal people,” Patnaik said.

The chief minister also claimed that Odisha’s growth rate was higher than the national average, while its social sector interventions were a model for the entire country.

“We are also one of the leading states in attracting investments and our capital city Bhubaneswar has topped the smart city challenge,” Patnaik said.