Pradeep Pattanayak

The appointment of former chief secretary and retired IAS officer, Suresh Mahapatra as the chief advisor to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Friday provided a peg to the state units of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress to hang their attacks on the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

Former Chief Secretary and chairman of OERC, Suresh Mahapatra has been appointed as the advisor to the Chief Minister’s Officer (CMO). At the same time, with the state government allowing Odisha Police DG Sunil Kumar Bansal to take retirement from government service, speculations are rife that the state may get a new chief secretary and a Police DG soon.
What triggered the speculation was a post on X, by former BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy. In his post, he wrote, “Is it possible change of Chief Secy and Dir General of Police will result in both top posts going to non-Oriyas?”  “Guess it will be the first ever (since 1947) Feel highly unlikely.” 

Also Read: Retired bureaucrat Suresh Mahapatra appointed chief advisor to Odisha CMO

Meanwhile, the state units of the BJP and Congress targeted the BJD-led government over the reshuffle. 

“When he was the chairman of the OERC, he didn’t cancel the contract signed between a Tamil Nadu-based private company and the Talabira power generation centre in Sundargarh. As a result, Tamil Nadu got 1500 MW of electricity at a cheaper rate. Has he been appointed as advisor to the Chief Minister’s Officer for this?” said BJP spokesperson, Satyabrata Panda. 

Odisha Congress chief, Sarat Pattanayak said, “I have been saying that Naveen Patnaik is not in a state to do anything for Odisha. Keeping the coming general elections in view, the officers are being rehabilitated.”

Responding to the BJP and Congress’ statements, BJD MLA Sashi Bhushan  Behera said, “Suresh Mahapatra is known for being an able administrator. We should hope the state would achieve further development.”

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