New CS of Odisha: BJD, Cong attack BJP over ‘Odia Asmita’

Baxipatra, however, said the BJD still extends good wishes to Ahuja on his appointment and hopes that he will steer the administration in a proper way.
The chief secretary of Odisha Manoj Ahuja
The chief secretary of Odisha Manoj AhujaFile Photo

BHUBANESWAR: The appointment of Manoj Ahuja as the chief secretary of Odisha triggered the Opposition BJD and Congress who on Friday came down heavily on the state’s first BJP government by stating that it was a new definition of ‘Odia Asmita’ which was the central theme of the saffron party’s campaign in the general elections.

Targeting the state government, BJD leader Bhrugu Baxipatra said it is for the first time that a non-Odia officer has been appointed as the chief secretary of Odisha. “The BJD has no issues with the BJP for campaigning during the election to restore ‘Odia Asmita’ in the state. But is this the way to restore ‘Odia Asmita’?” he asked.

Baxipatra further said people may argue that DP Bagchi, the chief secretary of Odisha from November 1, 2000 to October 31, 2002, was also a non-Odia. But Bagchi was born at Patnagarh in Balangir district and was brought up in the state. “It is for the first time in 39 years that a non-Odia officer will head the administration. The state unit of BJP should explain its stand over the issue,” he said.

Baxipatra, however, said the BJD still extends good wishes to Ahuja on his appointment and hopes that he will steer the administration in a proper way.

The Congress also criticised the BJP for forgetting its poll promise while appointing the chief secretary. “Odia Asmita was only an election slogan and the BJP never believed in such a thing,” said spokesperson of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Manoranjan Das.

However, deputy chief minister KV Singh Deo defended the government’s decision and said Ahuja has rendered service to Odisha in his entire career. “He is an Odisha cadre officer. There is no issue when Odia IAS officers become chief secretaries of other states. If somebody tries to make an issue out of a non-issue, I have nothing to say,” he added.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com