Bureaucrats‘ meeting sparks BJP outrage

CUTTACK: A two-day meeting of bureaucrats in Bhubaneswar has generated controversy with the BJP claiming it was an attempt to further the political agenda of the BJD ahead of next year‘s assembly and elections.
Describing it as a ‘secret‘ meeting of IAS officers carried out at the behest of a trusted aide of chief minister , BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya told the media, “It shows the evil design of the BJD government. The BJD wants to influence the public through the officers.”

The meeting was held in a hotel in the state capital on Thursday and Friday and according to Acharya was chaired by chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and attended by more than 300 block development officers and several IAS officers posted in the districts.

Stating that bureaucrats can‘t hold such a ‘secret‘ meeting, Acharya questioned why the media was not invited to the event. He also alleged that the BJD government is using the IAS and OAS officers to mobilise voters for the elections.

Rubbishing the allegations, BJD MLA Debasish Samantray said, “The chief secretary and other senior IAS officers were present to review various projects at the and sub-district level. It‘s part of their job. There is no politics in it.”

A press release issued by the office of the chief secretary termed the event as a two-day workshop and said it was attended by the project directors of district rural development agencies, block development officers and executive engineers (drinking water), organised by the department of panchayati raj and drinking water.

During the course of the meeting Padhi asked the officials to ensure timely payment to the beneficiaries of various schemes. The chief secretary also asked the officers to ensure zero tolerance towards corruption.

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