By Debasis Tripathy
From 2000 to 2012 the Naveen Patnaik Government has set a new record of sacking the ministers from the Cabinet. The toll has now reached 26 with recent removal of Shri AU Singhdeo, Minister of State for Excise in connection with the recent liquor tragedy. The removal of even the efficient ministers puts a big question mark on the stability, efficiency, accountability and transparency of the Government.
During the tenure of 2000-2004, Prasanta Nanda, Kamala Das, Nalini Kanta Mohanty, Devi Prasad Mishra, Rama Krushna Pattnaik, Amar Prasad Satpathy and Duryodhan Majhi were removed from the Cabinet. They were mostly charged with irregularities and corruptions.
In the second term beginning from 2004, 13 ministers were sacked from the Government. They included former Excise Minister Kalandi Behera, Pramilla Mallick, Rabi Narayan Nanda, Pradeep Nayak, Manmohan Samal, Sameer Dey, Debasis Nayak, Maheswar Mohanty, Dr Damodar Rout, Bijoy Sri Routray, Padmanav Behera, Balabhadra Majhi, Bishnu
Das, Nagendra Pradhan.
In the third term, beginning from 2009, the Government is facing a number of internal and external troubles. Two ministers, Dr Damodar Rout and Debasis Nayak, who happen to the backbone of the Biju Janata Dal, were first sidelined from the party activities and then removed from the Cabinet. Dr Rout, Nayak and one MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal are also against each other. On every alternate day, there are news showing their differences and internal fighting in the BJD.
About 20 days ago, Pradeep Maharathi, a minister, was sacked from the Cabinet. Shri Maharathi, who represents Pipili Assembly constituency, was incharge of Agriculture Department of the State Government. He was removed from the ministry all of a sudden, after a girl was gang raped in his constituency. Similarly, at different times, other ministers including Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha and Praveen Chandra Bhanja Deo were removed from the Ministry.
A critical analysis of the entire spectrum will bring out a conclusion that whenever any incident happens either in the Department of a particular minister or in his constituency he represents, in order to save his own and the Government’s face, Naveen Patnaik always follows the standing instruction of his mentor, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, to remove the Minister overnight. In such a situation, the Ministers feel unsecure just like contract job employees in an establishment.
In spite of such a care and efforts, the Naveen Patnaik Government is continuously facing acid test from the day the BJP-BJD coalition came to an end. Not on ideological issues, rather it was Pyari Mohan Mohapatra who wanted to kick out BJP from the Government. Mohapatra, who has been playing a pivotal role in the State Administration as a Super Chief Minister, chalked out a very notorious ploy to accumulate money along with the supreme power of the Government and to make Naveen Patnaik a puppet who would dance on his instructions. This crooked plan of Pyari Mohan Mohapatra could not be successful because Naveen was having good terms with the Ministers, particularly from the BJP. The Ministers like Bijoy Mohapatra (BJD), Prasanta Nanda (BJP), Nalini Kanta Mohanty (BJD) were every efficient ministers who discharged their duties perfectly. These ministers happened to be the founders of BJD in 1997. Bijoy Mohapatra, was one of the sole architect of the BJD after the death of Biju Patnaik. These iconic figures of the BJD government were dramatically sacked. Bijoy Mohapatra and Nalin K Mohanty were the close allies of the late Biju Patnaik in Janata Dal. At that time, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra was his principal secretary.
What is important is that the Government and the administration have been hijacked from the people of Odisha as well as from their representatives. The sole power has been hoarded with one person, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra. Naveen Patnaik has no control over the government. The poor ministers in the Cabinet headed by Naveen Patnayak are merely dummies. The Cabinet has become defunct. The administration has been hijacked and run by bureaucrats headed by Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, who enjoys supreme power and authority. The weak Opposition is voice less.