Governance in Odisha Hijacked by a Bureaucrat, alleges BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi

The bureaucrat is on whirlwind tours using the state plane, participating in public functions and receiving public receptions'

BHUBANESWAR: Senior BJP leader and Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha member Aparajita Sarangi on Saturday lashed out at the Odisha government. She alleged that the entire governance system had been hijacked by a bureaucrat in the state.

Without taking the name of 5T secretary VK Pandian, Ms Sarangi questioned, “Whether the political executive is in command or it has been hijacked by a bureaucrat?”

The acronym 5T stands for Team Work, Technology, Transparency, Transformation and Time Limit.

“Has chief minister Naveen Patnaik authorised a 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?” Ms Sarangi asked.

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

According to Ms Sarangi, the secretary-level bureaucrat was doing whirlwind tours using the state plane, participating in public functions and receiving public receptions. She also alleged that he was announcing projects worth crores of rupees while public representatives watched like mute spectators.

The firebrand lawmaker further said that the officer while announcing new projects claimed “all this ‘on the instructions of the CM.”

“I have seen this bureaucrat giving speeches with political overtones, participating in meetings. This is a clear violation of the Conduct Rules by the serving officer,” said Ms Sarangi.

Citing Rule 5 of the All India Services Conduct Rules (AISCR), the lawmaker said no member of the Service shall be associated with any political party or any organization which takes part in politics. No Service member shall he take part in, or subscribe in aid of, or assist in any other manner, any political movement or political activity.

She also cited Rule 12 of AISCR which states, “No member of the Service shall receive any complimentary or valedictory address or accept any testimonial or attend any meeting or entertainment held in his honour.”

“I have a feeling that the people of Odisha are being forced to witness a spectacle of a bureaucrat trying to hijack the political mandate because of the weakening of the BJD political leadership and their lack of grip over the party. Either the CM is unaware of what is being done by the said bureaucrat or the CM is forcing the BJD political leaders to subjugate themselves to a bureaucrat,” said Ms Sarangi.

The woman lawmaker observed that If the officer has political ambition, he should quit his government job and join politics. Drawing a salary from the government and desiring to get a rousing reception cannot go together.”

She also took an indirect pot shot at CM Naveen Patnaik, saying the latter’s office was dotted with non-Odia officers.

“Has there been any incident since Independence when a single Odia officer among the top three serving officials of Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has not been found eligible to aid and advise the CM on issues and matters pertaining to Odisha?” she asked

The top three officers of CMO are all from South India. The increasing influence of South Indian Corporate groups in different spheres of Odisha is a coincidence or is it by design?” questioned the Bhubaneswar MP.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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