Naveen defends his babus

Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday came out in support of his office and snubbed Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda for dragging his office into politics.

Panda had asked the bureaucrats manning the chief minister's office to remain within the "laxman rekha" while inaugurating an overhead water tank in Mahanga in his Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday.

Naveen said: "When they have no other issues, they attack my office. This is nothing new." He also hinted at the possibility of action against Panda. "What is appropriate will be done," Naveen said.

Party sources said Naveen has taken serious note of the way Panda has tried to belittle the chief minister's office saying that goons who were trying to create disturbances were getting protection and support from "a corrupt non-Odia officer on the third floor (chief minister's office)".

"Everyone is aware that this officer is interfering in party affairs and unconstitutionally indulging in politics," Panda's office had earlier said.

Naveen is also annoyed at the way Panda had tried to recall "Biju theory" of disciplining ill-behaved officers. This was a reference to Biju Patnaik's call for beating up "anti-people" bureaucrats.

Soon after Naveen spoke to the media, Panda tweeted that he was "disheartened" and also posed a number of questions to Naveen including, when Biju babu had raised the issue of disciplining officer did he do it only because he had no other issue to talk about?

This was apparently Panda's response to Naveen's comment that those who have no other issues were attacking his office. Panda also asked why five platoons of police force had been deployed in Mahanga on Thursday during his programme. Panda, who celebrated his birthday on Friday, also mentioned how friends had forgotten to wish him. Panda's reaction came after Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan wished him in a tweet.


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