Secretary-level officer hijacked Odisha’s governance system: BJP MP

Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi alleged on Saturday that a secretary-rank officer has hijacked the entire governance system in the state.

Bhubaneswar: Raising questions over the style of functioning of the BJD government in Odisha, Bhubaneswar MP and BJP national spokesperson Aparajita Sarangi alleged on Saturday that a secretary-rank officer has hijacked the entire governance system in the state.

Addressing a press conference at BJP party office here, Sarangi said that the Constitution of India mandates a politically-elected legislature to take care of the legislative procedures and policy making, and a political executive to exercise the mandate of the people to carry forward the socio-economic development, maintain law and order, etc.

However, in Odisha, the entire governance system has been hijacked by a secretary-rank bureaucrat, she alleged, without taking any name.

Sarangi also questioned “whether the political executive is in command or it has been hijacked by a bureaucrat?”

“Has Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik authorised the secretary-level bureaucrat to go around announcing projects in different parts of Odisha, while the elected MLAs, MPs and ministers are either onlookers or absent in those meetings,” Sarangi asked.

“Has the CM asked his MLAs and MPs to wait for a secretary-level officer and offer him a flower bouquet when he arrives,” she asked.

This is against the order of precedence and violation of the All-India Service Conduct Rules, she claimed.

“Till now, I had not been openly talking about the issue, as I thought talking about specific bureaucrat(s) does not go well with the political representatives. However, things have come to such a phase in Odisha that people outside the state are ridiculing as to what is going on in Odisha,” the BJP MP said.

“I have also been seeing a strange incidence since the last 1-2 years, where I see the senior-most officers in the CMO being all non-Odias. It has never happened in the history of Odisha since its formation in 1936 that not a single Odia IAS officer is there in the CMO to assist the Chief Minister,” she claimed.

“Now, three south Indian IAS officers are there in the CMO. Is it just a coincidence or is it by design,” Sarangi asked.

She also wanted to know under which circumstances Odia contractors and businessmen are being neglected by the government.

“In the past 23 years of BJD rule, all major works were given to specific contractors. Many of the works have been bundled to ensure that Odisha-based contractors are not able to participate in the tender process. Is there a lobby in the CMO working to favour certain business groups,” she asked.

“If the officer has political ambition, he should quit government job and join politics. Drawing salary from the government and and being keen to get a rousing reception cannot go together,” Sarangi said.

The BJP spokesperson also urged the CM to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the officer for violation of conduct rules.

Reacting to the allegations levelled by Sarangi, BJD spokesperson Shreemayee Mishra said, “Going and meeting patients at hospitals, asking about their health and taking care of them… Are these wrong?”

When governance is being taken to the doorsteps of the people, projects are sanctioned in a time-bound manner, works are getting completed within a time frame, common man is able to air his grievances, temples and other religious institutions are getting focused development like never before… Why are you scared of such pro-people governance,” asked Mishra.

(IANS)

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