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Odisha officials interfering in party affairs, says BJD MP Panda

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Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Panda on Thursday took a dig at officials posted in the Chief Minister’s Office here for interfering in ruling party’s affairs.

“There is no need to respect officers who forget their service code, and start doing politics and interfere in party affairs and support those who indulge in anti-people activities,” Panda said after inaugurating a public project in his Lok Sabha constituency.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said interference of bureaucracy in politics has led to a constitutional crisis in Odisha.

“In all, 550 police stations in the state are being run from the 3rd floor of the state Secretariat (CM’s Office). The Chief Secretary and Director General of Police cannot exercise their powers. The telephone records of some bureaucrats should be scrutinised to know who are handling the party affairs,” Pradhan said.

Reacting sharply to Baijayant Panda’s comments, BJD Spokesperson Pratap Deb said: “In the last three years, it is being stated that officers are doing politics and getting involved in politics. Whose utterance is it and is being reiterated? He is none other than the hon’ble Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Our hon’ble Kendrapada MP Baijayant Panda has also echoed the same.”

He said both have similar views on the matter since general elections are slated for next year and “many fence sitters will be switching sides”. (IANS)