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Odisha: BDO dances with tribal women, draws flak

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Kandhamal: Amidst sharp reactions from the opposition parties for the recently launched PEETHA scheme, here’s another incident giving the opponents to hit out at the State government for the programme.

A video has recently gone viral on social media featuring the government officials including a BDO (Block Development Officer) shaking legs with the tribal women belonging to Kutia Kondh community.

In the video, Jayadev Das, the BDO of Tumudibandha in Kandhamal district, is seen dancing with a group of tribal women during the Peoples Empowerment – Enabling Transparency and Accountability of Odisha Initiatives (PEETHA) programme on December 15 in Belghar panchayat.

Besides, some other officials also found joining the traditional dance of Kutia Kondh community at the programme.

Condemning the act by BDO, the former Baliguda MLA Karendra Majhi termed PEETHA programme as the ‘officers’ entertainment’ and ‘insult’ to the Kutia Kondh tribal community.

“We strongly oppose it. The way the government officers are dancing with the tribal women putting hands on their shoulders and the employees are making fun during the programme, is completely condemnable,” Majhi told media.

“Who did give the right to these officers to do such things with the Kutia Kondh women? He asked. “The government is insulting the Kutia Kondh community on the pretext of holding PEETHA programme and distributing allowances to the tribal people in the area,” he said.

“As I am a representative of the Kutia Kondh community and I was the legislator twice, the video featuring dance of the government officials with the tribal women hurts our sentiments,” Majhi said.

He demanded immediate arrest of the officials involved in making the video viral on social media.

“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is responsible for such behaviour against the tribal women. If the government fails to take stringent action against the officials, who were directed to hold such programme here and danced with the tribal women, the entire Kutia Kondh community will hit the streets against the Naveen government,” the tribal leader said.