Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Friday conferred Minister of State (MoS), principal secretary and chief secretary ranks on the newly-appointed advisors to various key departments. A total of 11 BJD leaders were appointed as advisors last month.

While the MoS status has been accorded to six department advisors, one got the rank of chief secretary and four others were given the rank of principal secretary.

Though it is still unclear on what will be the role of the political advisors, the Opposition parties today trained guns on Odisha government over such decision.

As per reports, the ranks have been given to the party leaders for the effective implementation of State government’s 5T.

“We will definitely look into the problems faced by members of SC and ST and ensure that they get benefits of various developmental schemes,” said Munna Khan, Advisor, Minorities Affairs, ST&SC Development Minorities.

Speculation is rife that the decision to confer special ranks to advisors is an attempt by ruling-BJD to suppress the brewing resentment among party leaders.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties slammed the ruling party’s decision to assign important ranks to party members.

“This is BJD’s strategy to rehabilitate party leaders who did not get any key posts earlier,” said Bishnu Charan Sethi, deputy leader of the Opposition in Odisha Assembly.

Senior Congress leader, Jayadev Jena said, “BJD is scared of growing resentment in the party for which they are assigning such posts to party leaders.”

Responding to the allegations, BJD MLA Amar Satpathy, said, “Such appointments are made in other states as well. This is absolutely normal as party leaders are assigned posts as per party’s requirement.”

Following is the complete list of advisors assigned new responsibilities in Odisha government

1.Lopamudra Bauxipatra, Advisor, Mission Shakti – MoS

  1. Sudhir Das, Advisor, BijuSwasthyaKalyanYojana – MoS
  2. Mujibulla Khan, Advisor, Minorities Affairs, ST&SC Development Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Department – MoS
  3. Sujeet Kumar, Advisor, Special Development Councils – Chief Secretary
  4. AnubhavPattnaik, Advisor, ET&IT – MoS
  5. KrutibasPatra, Advisor, Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment Department – MoS
  6. UtkalKeshariParida, Advisor, Chilika Development Authority – Principal Secretary
  7. DebashishMallick, Advisor, Odisha Forest Development Corporation – Principal Secretary
  8. SulataDeo, Advisor, Women & Child Development Department – Principal Secretary
  9. Janmejaya Lenka, Advisor, Odia Language Literature & Culture Department – Principal Secretary
  10. Ramachandra Panda, Advisor, Odisha State Agriculture Marketing Board – MoS