In a dramatic development on Tuesday, the Odisha IAS Officers Association unequivocally condemned the recent comments made Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan targeting the state’s IT Department secretary, Ashok Meena, during an event in the capital Bhubaneswar.
A report by OTV said that the IAS association on Tuesday met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and submitted a memorandum on the issue. The IAS body alleged that Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan in his speech during the inaugural ceremony of NIC’s Data Centre in Bhubaneswar had targeted IT Secretary, Ashok Meena yesterday.
The Odisha’s IAS officers association said recent episodes in the state and other parts of the country wherein officers, while discharging their professional duties, have been personally attacked by senior members of political executive was a direct attempt to defy constitutional values.
“A case in point is the incident which took place yesterday, i.e. May 28, 2018 at the inauguration of the National Data Centre of NIC, Bhubaneswar, wherein the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas personally targeted a senior IAS officer of the state government, who was attending the function on invitation,” PTI quoted the memorandum.
Secretary of Odisha IAS Officers Association, Vishal Dev, said “In a democratic polity, division of power between political and permanent executives is the bedrock of administrative framework. It is highly important that there is mutual respect between the two organs. So far, this has been functioning smoothly for the past few years. However, there have been some instances in the past where some officers have been targeted.”
“Yesterday, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan targeted a senior IAS officer by taking his name personally thrice during the inauguration of the NIC Data Centre which is totally uncalled for as it has a demoralising effect,” Dev added.
The memorandum also said that the IAS association of Odisha strongly condemned such incidents and stood by all the state government employees facing such situations, it said.
“While we stand committed to the cause of public good and would constantly continue to work to the best of our abilities to ensure that Odisha continues to march ahead and progress, we appeal to the chief minister to take up the matter at the appropriate level so that such incidents are not repeated in future,” the association demanded.
There are about 178 IAS officers posted in the state, according to Union Personnel Ministry data.