Jay Panda’s project inauguration: Dust settles, storm ensues

Bhubaneswar: The dust kicked up by ‘anti-social’ elements threatening to disrupt a project inauguration by BJD’s Kendrapara MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda in Buhalo Panchayat under Nischintakoili of Cuttack district settled with a thud after the parliamentarian arrived in the venue today.

Ushered by a sea of supporters Baijayant inaugurated the new overhead water tank project undertaken from the MPLAD fund.

Without mincing words, Baijayant after successfully inaugurating the project slammed government officers for unduly interfering in the affairs and working of the party. “There is no need to respect officers who forget their service code, start doing politics and interfere in party affairs and support those who indulge in anti-people activities. Even former CM Biju Patnaik had told people how to treat such officers.”

Baijayant’s comments drew criticism from his own party members after MP Pratap Deb said, “The only person who has been propagating the idea of bureaucrats indulging and interfering in politics is Senior BJD leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Today Baijayant spoke in the same tone. Such harmony is being seen because the general elections are next year. There will be a lot of churn. Some will leave BJD, while others will join. Hence, such opinions will be heard more often in future.”

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In response, Baijayant’s political secretary said “MP Pratap Deb’s comments are his personal opinion. A government official’s interference in politics has already been exposed.”

On the other hand, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took a jibe at Pratap Deb saying “Interference of bureaucracy in politics has led to a constitutional crisis in Odisha. The Chief Secretary has become a mere post. 550 police stations in state are being run by bureaucrats’ offices on the 3rd floor of Secretariat and telephone records of some bureaucrats should be scrutinised.”

“Pratap Deb is now in denial but will eventually agree on interference of bureaucracy in ruling-party affairs in Odisha. Good people will find better places and anyone subscribing to the ideology of BJP will be welcomed in the party,” he added.