Pradeep Pattanayak

If the 5T Secretary has to do politics, nobody will oppose him; but he has to quit his job to do politics, said the Chief Whip of the Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mohan Charan Majhi. On Saturday, Majhi lambasted the 5T Secretary for holding a grievance meeting at the Circuit House in Nabarangpur on Friday where political leaders were seen controlling crowds. 

5T Secretary V.K.Pandian had held a grievance meeting at the Circuit House in Nabarangpur on Friday evening. Around 2000 people turned up at the circuit house to take up their issues with the 5T Secretary. But what didn’t go down well with the BJP and the Congress is the presence of political leaders and people’s representatives at the gate of the meeting hall acting as security guards and controlling crowd. 

While organisational secretary of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Pranab Prakash Das was seen standing at the gate and allowing entry of people into the hall one by one, some MLAs and MPS were seen controlling the crowd outside the circuit house. 

Taking a swipe at the 5T Secretary, Majhi said, “What happened yesterday is quite unfortunate. The 5T secretary was inside and outside, there were political leaders and people’s representatives who were waiting for their turn to go into the hall one by one like going for an interview. If he (5T Secretary) has to do politics, nobody will object him. But he has to quit his job to do politics.”

Senior Congress leader and Kantabanji MLA Santosh Singh Saluja too lashed out the 5T secretary. Saluja said, “It is clearly laid out in the Book Circular 47 that officers will receive MLAs or people’s representatives. They will pick up their phone calls and they will see them off. But during this government, MLAs and Ministers are guarding the officers, bringing disgrace to the democracy. Political leaders guarding the officer is a matter of great shame and unfortunate.”

Venting his anger, Kanhu Das, a Nabarangpur resident, said, “The district collector’s grievance meeting is held on Mondays. It seems the collector is no longer capable of holding grievance meetings which is why the 5T secretary held the meeting. It is ridiculous. People from now on should go to the 5T secretary instead of going to the collector.”

In government's defence, Revenue Minister Pramila Mallik said, “What is wrong in people meeting the 5T Secretary. And if political leaders, MPs and MLAs met him at the meeting, they might have some personal work with him.”

Asked about the 5T secretary being referred as the Super Chief Minister of Odisha, Mallik said, “It is being said by the Opposition party and some media houses and you (journalists) are only spreading it. But Naveen Patnaik is the Chief Minister and he is ruling the state.”

(Reported by Nabaghan Bisoi, OTV)