**Bhubaneswar**: Though completely different personalities, the two most successful regional leaders, Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee have many things in common, both personal and political.
1: As Naveen Patnaik has remained a bachelor till now, Mamata Banerjee has also remained single throughout her life.
2: Before assuming his political avatar, Naveen Patnaik has three published books to his credit as an author: A Second Paradise: Indian Country Life 1590–1947; A Desert Kingdom: The People of Bikaner, and The Garden of Life: An Introduction to the Healing Plants of India.
Similarly, Banerjee has authored several volumes of poetry, essays and novels.
3: Both can get as dismissive and enigmatic as anyone because both are unpredictable. Naveen Patnaik stripped off his own party’s senior member Bijay Mohapatra of a party ticket during assembly elections. Powerful ministers like Nalini Mohanty, Kamla Das and Prashant Nanda have been sacked overnight on corruption charges.
Similarly, Mamata as the Union sports minister in Narasimha Rao government in 1993 took to the streets in Kolkata against her own government. She had publicly offered to resign from the ministry alleging that the government did not heed her proposals to improve sports in the country.
4: Both the leaders have maintained publicly an austere lifestyle. While Naveen Patnaik dons a white kurta- pyjama and chappals, Mamta Banerjee prefers a white cotton saree with a narrow mono-coloured border. In both the cases, it has become something of an emblem.
5: Both the leaders are known to be a clean politicians and popular leaders among the people of their respective States, irrespective of various allegations of corruption against their leaders and ministers.
1: Both the leaders formed their own regional parties in the State and are heading the ruling party of their respective States. While Naveen Patnaik is the founder and president of Biju Janata Dal, a regional party based in Odisha, Mamta Banerjee is the founder and president of Trinamool Congress (TMC).
2: Naveen Patnaik walked out of its alliance with NDA following communal violence in Kandhamal district which soured his relationship with BJP. In the same manner, Mamta Banerjee walked out of the NDA government following the Tehelka expose.
3: Both the leaders have served as Union Ministers. While Naveen Patnaik was selected the Union Minister for Mines in the cabinet of A.B.Vajpayee, Mamata Banerjee was made the Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Youth Affairs and Sports, and Women and Child Development in the Narasimha Rao government.
4: Both the leaders are facing the heat of chit fund scam in their respective States. There is CBI investigation in multi-crore financial scams in both the States and the MLAs and MPs of both the parties have been accused of involvement in these scams.
5: Both the regional parties headed by these head-strong leaders are now facing a new challenge; that of the Modi wave. They are trying new tactics to overcome this hurdle in the coming general elections.