IAS officers in Odisha met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday to protest against Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s “demoralising” remarks against bureaucrats in the state. Pradhan was speaking at the inauguration of Bhubaneswar’s National Data Centre Monday. He emphasised the Centre works equally hard for the states as their respective governments. He urged Principal Secretary of Odisha’s Electronics and Informational Technology Department, Ashok Meena, to work together for the benefit of Odisha.
“Meenaji may have to work up his courage to take permission from upstairs (CMO). He is a finance guy and can explain upstairs that the Centre funds 90 per cent of Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana. Let the state government take most of the credit, we (Centre) will take less (credit),” he said.
Calling Pradhan’s comments “not welcome” and “demoralising”, the secretary of Odisha chapter of IAS Association, Vishal Dev, said, “The Union Minister targeted a senior IAS officer personally three times, taking his name. We have registered our protest with the Chief Minister.”
At least eight employees’ unions lodged a complaint against the minister, a statement issued by the CMO said. The Odisha IAS Officer Association was the first to make the complaint.
Alleging that Pradhan was “threatening” IAS officers, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “Pradhan has for many days misbehaved with bureaucrats.”
Odisha BJP’s Prithviraj Harichandan said the BJD “cannot tolerate (us) when we call out their inefficiency”.
With PTI inputs