A BJD MP's allegation that a senior state government officer is interfering in the party affairs today evoked strong reaction from his own party that accused him of speaking in the language of the BJP, eyeing the general election next year. When an officer forgets service rules and indulges in politics by crossing the 'laxman rekha', he should not be given respect, BJD MP Baijayant Panda said today. "If an officer interferes in the party affairs and shelters persons involved in anti-people activities, there is no need to pay respect to him," Panda said after inaugurating a drinking water project in his constituency in Cuttack district. Though Panda did not name any officer, he apparently referred to an officer considered close to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Reacting to it, BJD spokesman and Rajya Sabha member P K Deb said the MP is speaking the language of senior BJP leader and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan apparently keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. "That officers doing politics or indulging in politics is the statement of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Today, our Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda gave similar remark. Why such similarities? "As the general election will be held in 2019, many leaders will change party.
Some may join the BJD and some may quit BJD. Similar changes may also take place in BJP," the BJD spokesman said. Meanwhile, Pradhan claimed that the state's chief secretary exists in name only due to intervention from an officer in the chief minister's office (CMO) and Odisha is heading towards constitutional crisis. The state's 550 police stations are controlled by the CMO and the DGP expresses helplessness when his attention is drawn on any issue, Pradhan alleged in a statement. Recently a senior minister was asked to resign not by the chief minister, but by an officer in the CMO, he claimed without naming any minister. Hinting at this particular officer, Pradhan asked who is managing election of the BJD, doing the party's works and even providing money for party programmes. Meanwhile, former BJD MLA Rama Ranjan Baliarsingh today quit the party alleging that Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik has become a puppet in the hands of an officer.
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