Pradeep Pattanayak

The ECI on Thursday reportedly transferred Odisha Mission Shakti Secretary Sujata Pandian following allegations of misuse of public office. 

National media quoted sources, "ECI orders transfer of Sujata R Karthikeyan, Commissioner cum Secretary, Department of Mission Shakti, Odisha to a non-public dealing department with immediate effect. Action taken based on complaints of alleged misuse of public office."

Earlier in the day, the state unit of the BJP filed a complaint with the ECI against Sujata Pandian accusing the official of misusing authority and influencing voters through SVEEP for the electoral gains of the BJD. 

The BJP alleged in its complaint that Sujata, wife of BJD leader VK Pandian is working like an agent of BJD. Besides intimidating members of SHGs to cast their votes for the BJD, she is also using the Mission Shakti Department to persuade voters, the party alleged. 

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The saffron party demanded that the official should be relieved from the post of Secretary and not be assigned any public dealing till the conclusion of the Parliamentary and Assembly Elections in Odisha. 

“Women empowerment is not the real motive of the BJD. Rather, it uses women SHGs for its own during election time. There is evidence that Sujata Pandian has been threatening SHGs to work for the BJD and not to vote for the BJP. It has been proved that BJD wants to use SHGs for its own gain,” said BJP spokesperson Anil Biswal. 

No comments were received from the concerned Secretary and the Mission Shakti Department in this regard.