Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Tribal Affairs Bishweswar Tudu has triggered a major political storm in Odisha by allegedly terming Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) officers in Mayurbhanj district as the agents of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
Tudu alleged the Mayurbhanj Collector functions as the district president of BJD while other administrative officers act as active workers of the party. The Union Minister fumed over lack of proper treatment to him as per the protocol.
The Minister alleged the district administration did not make adequate arrangements for his stay at the district Circuit House though prior information was given about his visit to review the various tribal welfare schemes in the Mayurbhanj district.
He added that a big conspiracy has been hatched against him just because he happens to be a BJP MP.
"Lodging arrangements of a Minister in a small room and allotment of VIP room to a director clearly indicates that it is a political conspiracy. As I am a BJP MP and Union Minister, they are showing improper treatment to me by forgetting all the protocols. It is very unfortunate," Tudu alleged.
Responding to the allegations, Morada BJD MLA Rajkishore Das said the 'distasteful comment' of the Union Minister against the administrative officials was 'unfortunate'.
"The administrative officials do not have any links with any political party. They are government officers. As a Union Minister, he should refrain from making such distasteful comments," Das said.
The reaction of Mayurbhanj Collector on the remarks of the Union Minister could not be obtained.
Earlier on October 9, the Union Minister allegedly abused Rudra Narayan Mohanty, president of the OAS Association and additional collector of Mayurbhanj, during a meeting at the Bhadrak Circut House.
Protesting the alleged misbehaviour, members of the OAS Association of Mayurbhanj district on October 12 performed their duty wearing black badges.
Speaking about the rising differences among the ministers and administrative officers, former chief secretary Sahadev Sahu said, "Government officials should be impartial and it is their duty. I am not saying that the officers were not at fault, but the minister should have also shown proper behaviour. If democracy is not stable, its machinery will collapse."