18 January 2020
Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today dismissed the allegation of Tushima Mishra, wife of suspended IAS officer Bijay Ketan Upadhyay that non-Odia IAS officers are getting preferential treatment over Odia IAS officers in Odisha.
Dubbing Mishra's allegation as her personal opinion and an act in self-defence, senior BJD leader and Commerce & Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik does not discriminate between Odia and non-Odia officers.
"Not at all! In my knowledge, there is no such thing called Odia or non-Odia for Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. All those who are efficient are definitely given importance. It could be her personal opinion made in self-defence," said Behera to reporters who sought his comments on Mishra's remarks made yesterday.
Aswini Kumar Patra, BJD legislator from Jaleswar was of the view that that law is equal for all and Chief Minister always maintained transparency.
"Law is equal for all. No one is above law. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has always maintained transparency," stated Patra in his comments on Mishra's allegation.
Mishra had in a presser alleged that the IAS officers in Odisha are split into two groups as Odia IAS officers and non-Odia IAS officers and had added that non-Odia IAS officers were the preferred ones and some even had five departments under them.
Upadhyay, who was serving as Director of Horticulture, was arrested by the Vigilance on December 30 over bribery charges.