Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has given IAS officer Vineel Krishna a new assignment in the Chief Minister’s Office in addition to his existing responsibilities as Managing Director, Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), and Director, Sports and Youth Services, official sources said.
Krishna, a 2005 Odisha-cadre IAS officer, has assumed charge as Officer-on-Special-Duty to Chief Advisor to CM. Retired bureaucrat R Balakrishnan has been donning the mantle of Chief Advisor to CM Naveen Patnaik since December, 2019. “Krishna will attend to management of COVID-19 related work until further orders,” Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy wrote in an official notesheet dated March 25.
The new appointment for Krishna, who is believed to share a good rapport with Naveen’s all-powerful Private Secretary V K Pandian (who is also Secretary to CM, 5T), came after he joined duty post quarantine.
On March 17, he released a video saying he registered himself in the government portal following his return from a foreign trip and begun his quarantine. However, some eyebrows were raised when on March 26 he was seen at an MoU-signing ceremony, involving OMC, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and KIMS and SUM Hospital for setting up health facilities to treat COVID-19 patients on PPP mode, at Lok Seva Bhawan here.
Just to clarify concerns in some quarters, I returned from abroad on March 10th, as per government notification I had registered on 16th and the quarantine period of 14 days ended for me on March 24th. Joined back on duty for assisting in COVID-19 management.
— Vineel Krishna (@rvineel_krishna) March 27, 2020
Thereafter, he tweeted his clarification: “Just to clarify concerns in some quarters, I returned from abroad on March 10th, as per government notification I had registered on 16th and the quarantine period of 14 days ended for me on March 24th. Joined back on duty for assisting in COVID-19 management.”