New BJP Govt In Odisha: How Has Been The Show So Far?

Bhubaneswar: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has stormed to power for the first time in Odisha after a spectacular performance in the recent elections. However, except Deputy Chief Minister K V Singh Deo, other members of the Mohan Charan Majhi Ministry lack ministerial experience. They have become Ministers for the first time in their political career. Statements of several Ministers have become a hot topic for discussion since the formation of the BJP government. Their statements are often getting changed and modified. Statements made by Chief Minister Mohan Majhi and Social Security and Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities (SSEPD)) Minister Nityananda Gond have also raised questions.

Mines Mafia Not To Be Spared

The Chief Minister mounted a scathing attack on mines mafia during his visit to home district Keonjhar. Asserting that all those involved in looting mineral resources will be sent to jail, Majhi had said no one associated with mining scam will be spared. He even went on to claim that the previous BJD government had offered him ministerial berth and mines to silence him. The CM came under attack from BJD over his remarks. They sought to know as to why he did not make this claim when he was in the opposition. BJD leaders advised him to maintain the dignity of the post while making such statements. Though the BJP government was formed 17 days ago, no action has so far been initiated against mines mafia.

Ban On Liquor

On the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, SSEPD Minister Nityananda Gond announced plans to make Odisha liquor-free. His statement that liquor will be prohibited in a phased manner in Odisha like some other states raised eyebrows in many spheres. The Excise department dismissed the Minister’s claim and made it clear that there is no move to ban liquor in the state at present. The Minister found himself in an awkward position after making such statement without prior discussion and consultation.

Removal Of Red Light From Traffic Posts

Housing and Urban Development Minister Krushna Chandra Mohapatra announced that steps will be taken to remove red lights from traffic posts in the state and commuters will not be made to wait for hours. He said overbridges, approach roads and other arrangements will be made as an alternative measure. However, the feasibility of implementing such a proposal is being questioned. Traffic problems are being faced in many metro cities, including New Delhi and Mumbai. People are very much aware that overbridges and approach roads cannot completely solve the traffic problem. Observers are of the view that the Minister has shown lack of maturity and experience by making such a statement.

Ratna Bhandar Opening 

It was stated in the morning that Ratna Bhandar of Puri Jagannath Temple would be opened on July 8 but the same evening the government said no decision had been taken in this regard. The Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) first stated that Ratna Bhanda would be opened on July 8 for inspection and repair work. However, hours later Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan denied this and stated that no decision had been taken on the opening of the treasury in Jagannath Temple in Puri. Discrepancies in the statements of the official and Minister drew sharp reaction from different quarters.

People of the state have voted BJP to power after 24 years of BJD rule. However, Ministers in the new government need to observer utmost care and caution while making public statements. Observers are of the opinion that members of the Mohan Majhi Ministry must conduct themselves in a responsible and mature way in order to save the government from being in any embarrassing situation.

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