Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 17:
While the newly elected BJD MLAs -including ministers- are celebrating the ‘landslide victory’ of their party in the Odisha twin polls, many fear they would be its biggest victims.
Many senior leaders and ministers of the outgoing cabinet are clearly worried about what the future holds for them.
One senior leader told OST under condition of anonymity that the chief minister is most likely to drop a number of ministers and induct new ones from among people who owe allegiance to both the party supremo and the babus around him and also that the final list will be prepared, not by netas but by the ‘real rulers of the state’ – the babus.
“ In any case, it’s the babus who will call the shots. They will choose who will be the ministers and also their portfolios. The ministers were and will always be rubber stamps in the Naveen Patnaik government. Like in the earlier government, the secretary of every department will be the departmental boss and the ministers will only be showpieces,” he said with a wry smile.
Another senior BJD legislator who has never been considered for a ministerial berth in the last 14 years says he is better off as an ordinary MLA.
“It’s better to stay as an ordinary MLA than go about ‘oiling’ fixers and babus for a job that strips you of your self-respect. We would have taken the officers to task if we had lesser number of seats, But that looks difficult. Now the babus and the fixers are claiming all the credit for the huge victory. They have all along treated MLAs as subordinates but now they will treat us like dirt,” he said.
Many in the party and outside believe the landslide victory for the BJD will lead to further alienation of the party MLAs from policy making, governance , and a distinct loss of clout.
“ The babus will now dictate terms both in the party and the government and we will be at the receiving end,” said a second time MLA of the ruling party.
A party leader, known for his light-hearted comments and PJs aptly hummed ,” Fir se babu-log aane wale hain, ab burey din aane wale hain.”