Bhubaneswar, Dec 3:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has not attended the CM’s grievance cell for the last seven years, and middlemen were active there duping the aggrieved people, the government admitted in the state assembly on Thursday.
In written reply to BJP legislator Dilip Ray, General Grievance and Pension Administration Minister Jogendra Behera informed the assembly that Patnaik had last visited the grievance cell, near the state secretariat, on August 16, 2008.
He said some senior officials of the Chief Minister’s Office were now “running the show” in absence of the chief minister.
Behera also admitted that the government was aware that ‘dalals’ (middlemen) had become active at the grievance cell.
“Two dalals were arrested by police from the grievance cell last year,” he said.
He said the district collectors and police superintendents have been asked to take action in this regard while the commissioner of police and deputy commissioner of police have been directed to identify the middlemen and take stringent action against them.
The state government has also issued advertisements in newspapers to make people wary of ‘dalals’, he added.
Patnaik, during his 15-year rule, visited the grievance cell and listened to the plight of people on 76 occasions, the highest being 20 days in 2001, the minister had informed on an earlier occasion. (IANS)