Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 19:
Members cutting across party lines today accused bureaucrats in Odisha of not paying due respect to elected people’s representatives in clear violation of established protocol.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Assembly, Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra cited an instance of such indifference where the Sundargarh SP had allegedly refused to meet local MLA Jogesh Singh despite repeated attempts by the latter.
For once, even ruling BJD members backed Mishra’s contention with JP Das expressing anguish over the attitude of officers.
Expressing anguish over the attitude of officers towards people’s representatives, the Leader of Opposition pointed out that Singh was told that the SP was busy with the recruitment of constables and hence could not meet him.
Alleging that senior officers like district collectors and SPs do not pay any heed to the nroms and protocol, the senior Congress leader said that the Book Circular-47 of Parliamentary Affairs department clearly says that the officers must respect the people’s representatives and hold talks with them for implementation of programmes.
Pointing out that even ministers are not responding to queries of MLAs, Mishra stated that though he was accorded cabinet minister’s status as the leader of opposition, he receives reply letters from the officers of deputy secretary rank and not the department secretaries.
The Leader of the Opposition demanded a ruling from the Speaker on the matter.
BJP state unit president and Patnagarh MLA K V Singhdeo and BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy also demanded a ruling from the Speaker on the issue.
In his ruling, Speaker Niranjan Pujari said the ethics committee of the Assembly would examine the allegation against the Sundargarh SP.
Pujari also asked the government to reply to the queries of the MLAs raised through special mention within 48 hours in the House.