A slugfest has broken out between the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal(BJD) a day after Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took a dig at the Odisha government citing alleged irregularities in the recruitment of junior teachers.
The Union Minister while addressing the Shakti Vandan programme on Saturday pointed out an anomaly in the e-admit card of a candidate in which his name was mentioned as Mahal Manda and his father’s name as Mahal Manda Pro.
Pointing out the alleged irregularities in the appointment process of junior teachers, Pradhan was surprised to know the ridiculous name of a candidate like ‘Mahal Manda’ searching for jobs.
The ruling BJD shot back at the Union Minister on Sunday.
BJD legislator Sudhir Samal said, “Party’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das has already made his clarification on the issue of Mahal Manda. No need for further clarification.”
Samal added that whenever the recruitment of various posts is done, it is done through an agency of the central government. "If the Union Minister doubts the recruitment process, he can question that agency," Samal added.
The BJD legislator alleged that the opposition parties have been sponsoring dharna and protests by paying funds and the time will tell who is corrupt.
“Many BJP activists have created fake IDs in social media and are writing against the BJD. People know who are fake. With elections only 3 months away, people in Odisha will make it clear who are fake and will prove who are really working for development by voting them in large numbers,” he asserted.
The BJP, who suspected Mahal Manda as a fake candidate in the teacher recruitment process, also trained his gun at the BJD legislator. Vice president of Odisha BJP Golak Mohapatra said, “The person (Samal) who points out the name of the agency does not know that the agency carries out online exams of many institutions across the country. The leader has shallow education and understanding and that’s why he is making such remarks.”
Mohapatra observed that the BJD leader is trying to shift the blame for his government’s misdeeds to others.
“The process of application is done at your end. The agency that carried out online tests hands out results to you? You people decide who will be picked up and who will be rejected. How could Mahal Manda and Mahal Manda Pro sneak into the system? The leaders who are in power have no substance and existence. ‘Bideshi Gumasta’ is looking after the administration. All leaders are on their toes to keep him in good humour,” he said.
"The BJD should clarify who Mahal Manda is. Those ‘Mahal Manda’ babus having acquired positions should come out with a clarification. The state is run by fake and Mahal Manda leaders and fake officials. The latest case in the teachers’ recruitment is a bright example,” he observed.
Later in the day, the Union Education Minister again slammed the state government over the alleged irregularity in the recruitment of junior teachers while he was taking part in a programme in Sambalpur.
He said, "Those who are beating the drum of transparency have to reply why such an irregularity took place. Some friends pointed fingers at a central government's PSU. The NTA is conducting interviews related to the recruitment. The EdCIL is not supposed to conduct interviews. No one should create a haze about the recruitment of Odia youths by taking the name of EdCIL. What happened to ASO exam? The EdCIL was not there to hold the tests,” he said.
Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi also derided the government, pointing out the alleged irregularity in the junior teacher recruitment. She said that those who are advisors to the government should be removed and the governance model has failed.
Veteran Congress leader Panchanan Kanungo mocked the government, saying, “I did not find the word ‘Mahal Manda’ in Odia dictionary. The Central government’s agency has carried out the test of the junior teachers. Some people have alleged that the agency is involved in it. The BJD should come out with a clarification in this regard.”