BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi

Power play in Odisha: Bureaucrat’s role questioned by senior BJP leader

Aparajita Sarangi, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Member of Parliament from Bhubaneswar, has unleashed a scathing attack on the Odisha government, accusing a bureaucrat of hijacking the entire governance machinery.

Sarangi has questioned the authority of the political executive and raised concerns about the increasing influence of bureaucrats over elected representatives. These allegations have sparked a heated debate and shed light on the delicate balance between administrative efficiency and democratic decision-making.

Governance by Proxy

Sarangi has raised a pertinent question: has Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik allowed a secretary-level bureaucrat to assume the role of announcing projects and making key decisions in different parts of Odisha?

Sarangi’s concern stems from the absence or passive involvement of elected representatives, including MLAs, MPs, and Ministers, in these crucial meetings. The alleged bureaucrat’s actions, carried out with the authority of the Chief Minister, have drawn criticism for blurring the lines between administrative and political roles.

The Violation of Conduct Rules

According to Sarangi, the bureaucrat in question has gone beyond the scope of their duties by delivering speeches with political overtones and participating in meetings. This behavior raises concerns about the violation of Conduct Rules, which are meant to ensure impartiality and neutrality among government officials.

Sarangi’s allegations highlight the potential abuse of power and the erosion of democratic principles when bureaucratic roles extend beyond their intended boundaries.

The Spectacle of Bureaucratic Dominance

Sarangi goes a step further by suggesting that the bureaucrat’s prominence is a spectacle orchestrated by the weakening political leadership of the BJD. She questioned whether the Chief Minister is either unaware of the bureaucrat’s actions or intentionally forcing political leaders to yield to bureaucratic authority.

Conflicting Interests and Governance

Sarangi raised a crucial point regarding the bureaucrat’s political ambitions. If true, it raises concerns about conflicts of interest and the blurring of lines between public service and personal aspirations.

Sarangi argued that drawing a salary from the government while seeking public acclaim and political receptions creates an untenable situation.

The BJD’s Response

In response to Sarangi’s allegations, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) dismissed her claims as an attempt to seek media attention.

BJD’s Shreemayee Mishra accused Sarangi of being agitated over her appointment as the observer of the Bhubaneswar Constituency. The BJD’s response reflects the ongoing political tensions between the ruling party and the opposition, further obscuring the core issue at hand.

“Madam is agitated because I have been appointed observer of Bhubaneswar Constituency; Madam has joined politics not to serve people; she is trying to grab media attention,” she said.