Vikash Sharma

In an exclusive interview with OTV, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma slammed the alleged prevalence of officer raj in Odisha. 

“There are officers in my government as well but people don’t know their names. Bureaucracy is an institution and they don’t need to contest elections. Bureaucracy must submit to the democratic leadership and that is democracy. It is only in Odisha that I come across names of government officers. In other states, nobody knows any officer as they do not run the government. A bureaucratic officer running the government is not good for democracy,” he said. 

On VK Pandian’s voluntary retirement and joining the BJD, the Assam Chief Minister said, “Odisha has its own pride and culture and there should be a pledge to protect and take it forward. We will lose the hard-earned democracy if the country’s governance goes to the bureaucrats.” 

“Para trooping is not very good for the democracy. Coming to politics entails a process. There is a beginning. One should contest college and gram panchayat elections. Take Modiji’s life for example. He kept on struggling to reach the present position. Similarly, Amit Shah started from the ABVP and has reached the present position. Experience in public life is very important. The charm and acceptability one enjoys when he starts his political career from the village level will not come if one paratroops,” he said. 

To a question that more government officers are seen than political leaders in any BJD programme, the Assam Chief Minister said, "When officers are more and take over the bureaucratic system, the process of weakening of the democracy begins from there. People should govern the country. If it is taken away from the people’s hands, there would be no difference between us and the Chinese. We should not allow directly or indirectly autocracy or dictatorship in any dispensation.”

When asked if he is hopeful of BJP coming to power in Odisha, he said, “Odisha is a base of Sanatan culture and I am hopeful that BJP will acquire Odisha and acquire it for a long time.”