Champua BJP leaders have come forward to defend Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs and Jalshakti Bishweswar Tudu after the OAS officers Association threatened to boycott the Minister by wearing black badge over latter's alleged bad behavior against some officers in a meeting held at Champua ITDA office on October 8 during the Minister's visit to review different works in Keonjhar.
According to District Adivasi Yuva Morcha secretary Sudhir Sardar, who was present in the meeting, the very introduction of the Union Minister by the Champua Sub Collector had ruffled his feathers. "Before the start of the meeting, Sub Collector, Champua, Pritam Priyadarshi introduced Tudu as Adivasi and Harijan Kalyan Mantri to which the Minister got angry. Tudu told that the Adivasi and Harijan Kalyan Ministry had been abolished since long and asked if the officers were not aware of it. The statement of the Minister is said to have put the Sub- Collector in an embarrassing position before his subordinates. Secondly, Sadar MLA Mohan Charan Majhi had brought to the notice of the Minister the poor work of a newly built kitchen house in an ITDA school at Nayagarh area under Jhumpura block.
His specific allegation was that a kitchen has been built by the side of a boundary wall of the school and the new building has already developed cracks. The Minister wanted to know the reason of such irregularities from the concerned officials and expressed his concern saying that if this was the condition of a new house, then wild creatures and snakes etc would enter into it. However, Padma Charan Jena ,JE ,ITDA , Champua who was supposed to take the matter seriously, rather laughed at the comments of the Minister. This made the Minister lose his tempers and he began scolding the officers.
Former BJP president ,Joda block, Aganu Charan Mahanta said that a dispute between the officers and political leaders is not new in Odisha.
"Being disgusted with unruly officers, it was legendary Biju Patnaik who had once declared to thrash them which later kicked off a row. Similarly , whatever Minister Tudu has said, it is his outburst of anger against the delinquent officers who are not giving due seriousness to problems faced by the poor tribal people," he told.
Instead of making it a political issue by boycotting the Minister, it would be better to work for development of the poor and welfare of the State. It is the Minister who represents the people and also ultimatly is answerable to them but not the officers, he added.Aganu warned that the BJP workers might take to streets if the officers remained adamant.