Vikash Sharma

Are government officers considering themselves supreme? Such a question has now created a stir in the state with the Opposition parties raking up several instances to corner the Odisha government for its eerie silence.

The people of the state were taken aback after seeing the visuals of Koida block development officer (BDO) allegedly slapping a school committee president.

On the other hand, the residents of Bichhinapati village under Manamunda block in Boudh district have brought serious allegations against the Sub-Collector and claimed that the officer manhandled and misbehaved with them during a meeting on Monday.

As per reports, the villagers are against the proposed construction of a railway bridge in the village as Bichhinapati is an accident-prone area. They had called a 12-hour protest against the proposal on Monday. However, as per the request of Boudh Collector, the villagers called off the agitation.

Subsequently, Boudh Sub-Collector Rabindra Nath Kanhar held a discussion with the villagers as they were against the proposed construction of a railway bridge in the village. As per the allegations by the villagers, Kanhar lost his cool during the discussion and manhandled and misbehaved with them.

“It is due to the people that the officers are powerful and now they are misusing it. The Sub-Collector misbehaved with me when I raised some issue,” said complainant Ramesh Mishra.

It is almost a week that an agitation is continuing seeking the transfer of Koida BDO. From Koida to Odisha Assembly, the demand for immediate transfer of BDO Pallavirani Raj is gaining steam.

The CPM has been demanding the transfer of the BDO alleging her involvement in corruption and nepotism. The unit also staged a 12-hour bandh in Koida today.

Bonai MLA Laxman Munda said, “We have only one demand, immediate transfer of BDO." 

Koida BDO refused to comment on the entire incident and allegations.

The Opposition parties had recently created ruckus in Odisha Assembly over the alleged ‘officer raj’ in Odisha. They had also showed the pictures of Minister Rita Sahu and Niranjan Pujari.

Both the BJP and Congress members have slammed the alleged indiscipline, carelessness and dictatorship of the officers in blocks and tehsils.

Opposition Chief Whip, Mohan Majhi said, “The officer raj & their dadagiri is increasing and they are challenging people’s representatives. Time will come that the faith of people on the government will be lost.”

Congress MLA, Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “People have seen how BDO slapped a school president. The situation is worse and only government is to be blamed as no action is being taken against such officers.”

Responding to the Opposition's allegations, ruling BJD MLA, Bhupinder Singh said, “The way development is happening in Odisha under the leadership of CM Naveen, it seems that the Opposition has become intolerant. The officers, Collectors and SPs are listening to us.”