Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Opposition including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress came down hard on the Odisha government on Thursday accusing it of showing ‘excess’ favouritism to certain IAS officers by offering them longer & lucrative postings.

The Leader of Opposition (LoP), Jayanarayan Mishra brought serious allegations against some IAS officers in charge of some departments. He said that the concerned officers are not being transferred for some vested interests.

Mishra tried to prove his point by giving examples from Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts where the Collectors have been in their positions for over six years. Mishra also pointed out that the Urban Development Secretary, G Mathi Vathanan has been in the same post for nine years. Similarly, IAS Vir Vikram Yadav has been posted as the Secretary of Food Supplies Department for six years, Mishra said.

Mishra also pointed his fingers towards Sushil Kumar Lohani who has been discharging his duties as the State Election Commissioner and Panchayati Raj Secretary. Similarly, Crime Branch ADG Arun Bothra’s name also cropped up on Mishra's list.

Mishra went on to say, “Is this Mo Sarkar, and is this how 5T works? It seems like, those officers working for the BJD have been entrusted with multiple lucrative departments.”

The Congress too came up with allegations against the government saying that it has violated the Book Circular-47. Senior Congress leader, Narasingha Mishra said, “The Keonjhar Collector has been there for more than six years. The district has mines in abundance. It seems, the ruling party is running with the money from mines.”

Replying to the allegations, Revenue Minister, Pramilla Mallik said, “What is the problem in keeping the officers in a particular area if they are doing a good job. There is no harm in it.”

Urban Development Secretary, G Mathi Vathanan shied away from the reporters when asked about the allegations.

However, the experts are of the opinion that the officers who are subservient, get a pat on the back and allowed to work longer in a particular department.

“The officers now-a-days are working as government agents,” said former Chief Secretary, Sahadev Sahu.