Mayurbhanj DM Vineet Bharadwaj In Soup For Wearing T-Shirt With Naveen Patnaik Logo; BJP Calls It Ridiculous

Bhubaneswar: Amid the Opposition’s allegation that Odisha bureaucracy’s is siding with the ruling BJD, a purported photograph of Mayurbhanj Collector Vineet Bharadwaj, wearing a T-shirt with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s logo, during a programme in Odisha’s Baripada has sparked off a row.

The Collector along with SP B Gangadhar were reportedly seen sporting the T-shirts during a mini marathon organised by the Mayurbhanj Special Development Council.

Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi, a former IAS officer who has been slamming the state government over a bureaucrat calling the shots, strongly disapproved the Mayurbhanj collector wearing such a T-shirt. “Very unfortunate as well as ridiculous! Collector, Mayurbhanj, Odisha! Degeneration of the official standards to this extent. These officials must know that season is not the same always,” she wrote on X.

Later speaking to media, BJP vice president Lekhasri Samantsinghar also came down heavily on Mayurbhanj Collector and SP for wearing BJD‘s T-shirts with CM‘s logo. “This is a display of disregard for constitutional values. The collector must be aware that it is against the conduct rules to express allegiance to any particular party. There is a strict separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judiciary in the Constitution.” she said.

The BJP leader said that the officers are sending a wrong signal to the society, particularly youth who look up to them as role models. “I would like to tell Vineet Bharadwaj that he has a long career ahead of him and there is no guarantee that the BJD will continue to remain in power. Therefore, he should concentrate on his job and not engage in party activities. I also hope that he realises that he has committed a grave mistake by wearing that T-shirt,” she said.

Lekhasri added that by involving government officials in such activities, the BJD has also indicated that it no longer trusts its party workers. 

In his defence, the collector told the media that it was a government event.

Notably, Aparajita too had earlier accused the ruling BJD of engaging government officials in party programmes. She tweeted about a government official addressing a Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) meeting and also shared a video of master book keepers of Self Help Groups (SHG) taking oath to ‘obey’ a BJD MLA.

Last month, she raised the use of helicopter by 5T secretary V K Pandian, a 2000-batch IAS officer, to travel 30 km to 40 km from the state capital. She also disapproved of officers taking on the mantle of an elected representative. “The MPs and MLAs are not visible and the Chief Minister is under house arrest,” she had alleged, stepping up her attack on the ruling dispensation.

On June 28, she along with BJP Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal had lodged a complaint with the DoPT against the Odisha cadre officer whom they accused of clearly violating the Conduct Rules for the All India Service (AIS) personnel by conducting public meetings and announcing new government schemes.

The saffron party also alleged that the ministers, MLAs and MPs of ruling BJD have accepted the slavery of the bureaucrat.


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