OAS officers stage black badge protest against Union Minister’s remarks
Bhubaneswar/Baripada: Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) officers of Mayurbhanj district have launched a black badge protest against Union Minister Bisweswar Tudu’s alleged rude behaviour and “derogatory remarks” towards State Government officials during his recent visit.
Tudu, who is the Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Tribal Affairs, rejected the allegation and instead claimed that he was humiliated by a section of officers who allotted him a sub-standard room in the Circuit House in Mayurbhanj district.
While the OAS Officers’ Association alleged that the Minister used unparliamentary language against one of its members prompting them to start the black badge protest since Monday night, Tudu claimed that the officials are giving a false impression to the State to hide their “anti-people activities”.
Association president Rudra Narayan Mohanty, who is the Additional District Magistrate of Mayurbhanj, alleged that the Minister abused him on October 9. “The Minister on October 9, 2021 had rung the ADM, Mayurbhanj at about 4.26 pm and asked about the repair of Circuit House, Mayurbahnj. The ADM, Mayurbhanj politely replied that the annual repair and maintenance is going on in the Circuit House. The Hon’ble Minister then used unparliamentary language, scolded the ADM & Collector, Mayurbhanj. His language was so obscene and uncalled for which cannot be written in the proceedings (of a meeting),” the Association said in a statement.
At a meeting on Monday, the district officers also resolved to wear black badges in protest against “such unwarranted behaviour” and communicate it to the Association with a request to bring the matter to the notice of the Governor and the Chief Minister.
Asserting that he did not misbehave with anyone, Tudu, however, said he had expressed displeasure as there has been no progress in the implementation of certain welfare schemes for tribal people in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts.
“When I visited Mayurbhanj district from where I have been elected to the Lok Sabha before becoming a Union Minister, the officials allotted me a sub-standard room in the Circuit House just to humiliate me. Instead, an officer in the State’s ST & SC department was given a special suite. This is a clear case of breach of privilege,” Tudu, a BJP leader, said.
On the officers’ black badge protest, he said he is going to meet the agitating officers. “I will offer all of them a pair of black dresses each. They should wear black dresses and people should know about their black deeds,” the Minister said.
There had been allegations that the Minister misbehaved with other officers in the recent past.
“The MPs should fight for the rights of the people. When it comes to developmental activities, one should take all stakeholders into confidence and work as a team,” senior Odisha BJP MP Suresh Pujari said.