BARIPADA: Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Tribal Affairs Bishweswar Tudu on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, accused Mayurbhanj Collector Vineet Bhardwaj of breaching protocol and working as an agent of ruling Biju Janata Dal.
Tudu, also the MP from Mayurbhanj, alleged that the Collector had violated protocol during his visit to the district. “My officials had informed the Collector’s office about my visit to Mayurbhanj on October 9 well in advance. When I reached the Circuit House at Baripada, a small room was arranged for me instead of a VIP suite as per protocol,” he claimed.
The circuit house manager reportedly told the Union Minister that the VIP suite was being used by a Director-ranked officer. When asked about other rooms, the manager said they were being renovated and painted for the Chief Minister’s programme in Mayurbhanj scheduled in the last week of the month. When Tudu expressed his unhappiness, the manager arranged two other rooms in the Circuit House.
“When Housing and Urban Development Minister of Odisha Pratap Jena came to Baripada over a proposal to set up an oxygen plant, the Collector always remained by his side. When I inaugurated two oxygen plants, one at Rairangpur and the other at Baripada under PM Cares Fund, the Collector did not attend these programmes,” Tudu alleged and added that the Collector is working as BJD’s president of Mayurbhanj.
The Union Minister went on to allege that the Collector was deliberately ignoring his direction to organise a review meeting with district officers. “Despite my repeated orders, the administration is not making arrangements for review meetings with all block development officers and tehsildars of Mayurbhanj,” he added.
“The Collector is organising all meetings of the State government but ignoring my requests,” Tudu alleged and urged the State government to take immediate action against the officer.Contacted, Collector Bhardwaj refuted the allegations of Tudu and said the district administration provided adequate facilities to the Union Minister. The meetings were held as per protocol and others will be held in the future too, he added.