BHUBANESWAR: Appointment of as many as 11 BJD leaders as advisor to different government departments and programmes recently by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has raised questions as no guidelines have been set for their functioning.
With these appointments, the number of advisors in different departments, state-owned public sector undertakings and programmes has increased to 36, which sources said, is likely to create confusion in the functioning of the government in future.
Advisors have been appointed to Agriculture and Women and Child Development departments and different government programmes including Mission Shakti. However, there is no clear understanding at the government and party level as to why so many advisors have been appointed and how they will function.
ALSO READ: BJD leaders get new role in Odisha government-run public sector undertakings
Such appointments have drawn sharp criticism from the Opposition Congress and BJP. Senior Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged that the state government is misusing taxpayers’ money to create new posts and increasing the Odisha’s loan burden.
“The Chief Minister is afraid of a revolt in the party and that is why he has taken such a step,” he said.
Describing such appointments as unfortunate, BJP general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan also alleged that this is an attempt to rehabilitate unhappy BJD leaders which will have negative impact on State finances.
On the other hand, many BJD heavyweights including former ministers Maheswar Mohanty and Sanjay Dasburma as well as senior leader Debasis Samantray and several party candidates in the Lok Sabha elections who were defeated are yet to be rehabilitated.
Speculation is doing the rounds that one of these leaders may be appointed as the deputy chairperson of the State Planning Board while a defeated leader of Western Odisha is likely to head the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC).
The post of WODC chairperson is vacant since June 18, 2019 after Kishore Kumar Mohanty completed his tenure. Mohanty has now been elected as a legislator from Brajrajnagar Assembly constituency in the recently-concluded elections on a BJD ticket.
Two senior leaders from Western Odisha Pushpendra Singhdeo and Anup Sai have already been appointed as member, WODC and chairman of the Odisha Warehousing Corporation.