Bhubaneswar/Baripada: The 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 Odisha government officials during his recent visit. Bisweswar Tudu, who is the Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Tribal Affairs however, rejected the allegation. He claimed that he was humiliated by a section of officers who allotted him a sub-standard room in the Circuit House in Mayurbhanj.
The OAS Officers Association alleged that the minister used un-parliamentary language against one of its members. It prompted them to start the black badge protest since Monday night. Tudu claimed that the officials are giving a false impression to the Odisha government 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 October 9.
“The Minister on October 9, 2021 had rung the ADM, Mayurbhanj at about 4.26pm 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 un-parliamentary 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 Monday, the 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 has 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 told this agency.
On the officers’ black badge protest, Bisweswar Tudu 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.