Balasore: Senior BJP leader and central minister Bisheswar Tudu’s remark that many of the officers appointed through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are “dacoits”, has evoked a strong reaction in Odisha with former chief secretary Sahadev Sahu terming the comment as “defamatory”.
The union minister of state for tribal affairs and jalshakti made the remarks while addressing a gathering as chief guest at the golden jubilee function of a government school at Baliapal in Balasore district.
Reacting to Tudu’s remark, Odisha’s former chief secretary Sahadev Sahu, said: “It is defamatory to call officers appointed through the UPSC as dacoits. One needs to verify the mental condition of the man who made such a silly remark.”
“Politicians choose members of UPSC and those members select the meritorious candidates. Therefore it is better to blame the politicians who select the members”.
A union minister can move the ministries concerned to correct the wrong doings in UPSC, Sahu said.
The UPSC is the country’s premier central recruitment commission which appoints top government officers.
“Instead of speaking at the right platform, he is making silly statements,” Sahu said.
Veteran journalist Rabi Das said if the officers are dishonest or dacoits, it is the responsibility of the government to catch and punish them.
“As a central minister, he (Tudu) should ensure punishment for such dacoits, which he is not doing”, Das said.
BJP Balasore district president Umakanta Mohapatra said that Tudu has made such a remark keeping in view the manner in which officers, instead of elected peoples’ representatives, are running the government in Odisha.
Former chief secretary and Congress leader Bijay Patnaik said that there should be no doubt that some of the IAS officers were “neck-deep in corruption. Action should be taken against them”.
The union minister was heard making the controversial statement in a viral video. PTI could not verify the authenticity of the video clip.
“I had an idea that those who are appointed through UPSC … They are the most knowledgeable persons and hold high positions. But now, I feel that most of those who have qualified from there perhaps are dacoits. I do not say 100 per cent, but many of them are dacoits,” Tudu asserted.
The minister, who is an MP of Odisha, said the UPSC office is just behind his residence in Delhi, and initially he had high regard for it but that has changed now.
During his speech, Tudu also asked: “Why is our society engulfed in corruption and injustice if such educated people are there?”
“It is because of lack of morality in our education system. Lack of spiritual education and thoughts among us.”
The minister had also stoked controversy in 2021 by accusing state government officials of misbehaving with him in his constituency in Mayurbhanj.