Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The opposition BJP has lashed out at Odisha government for the contractual appointment of Manoj Mishra as Principal Secretary of the Electronics and Information Technology Department and demanded such practices to be stopped.

A couple of days back, Mishra had tendered his resignation from the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) services. He has been appointed as the Principal Secretary of the Electronics and Information Technology department on 29 December 2022 immediately after his resignation was accepted.

After the Railway Board had accepted Mishra’s resignation from the all-India service on Wednesday, the state government issued a notification over his appointment on a contractual basis. He will also remain in the additional charge of Special Secretary to the government (Rail Coordination) in the Commerce and Transport Department.

A 2000 batch officer, Mishra was on central deputation to the State seven years back. He served as Secretary of the same department three years back.

However, the appointment of Mishra has not gone down well with State BJP. The Saffron party slammed BJD by terming the move as unconstitutional and a blatant violation of rules.

In a presser, the Opposition party alleged that without recruitment notice and advertisement, Mishra’s appointment is a blatant violation of the rules pertaining to the Indian Administrative Services.

As per BJP, Mishra has been given the favour as he is actively participating in social media campaigns against BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah.

“The appointment of Mishra as the Principal Secretary of the Electronics and Information Technology Department is a completely unconstitutional and a blatant violation of rules. It is completely against the purpose and aim of Indian Bureaucracy. We are demanding the cancellation of the appointment,” said senior BJP leader Sudarshan Nayak.

On the other hand, responding to the allegation, BJD said that BJP is playing politics over the matter.

“BJP should keep themselves away from the affairs of an appointment of a government official. We would like to request them to priorities developmental issues in Odisha,” said BJD spokesperson Gautam Buddha Das.

Meanwhile, former administrative officials are also not in favour of the development. As per them, the Opposition should resort to law against the unlawful appointment.

“There are certain cadre rules in place for IAS and OAS appointments. The appointments should be as per those laws. The power of majority is being misused for the appointment,” said former Chief Secretary Sahadev Sahoo.

The Union Government has initiated a new process of lateral entry to appoint various professionals as Joint Secretaries. However, a due appointment process along with the issuance of advertisement is being followed in this regard. A question mark has been raised over the intention of the State government in the recent appointment process.