DEMOCRACY IN DILEMMA: AN IAS OFFICER CAN HARM PEOPLE EVEN AFTER RETIREMENT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In deep agony over unilateral delimitation of constituencies that is clearly anti-people and anti-democracy, Ms. Sugyan Kumari Deo, held in high esteem by everybody irrespective of party affiliations, condemned the draft notification published by the Delimitation Commission (DC) during the debates in Orissa Legislative Assembly on 20.Feb.06 and said, even though she cannot name, she was sure that it was an act of a villain or a couple of villains hidden behind the curtain. But Arun De was more specific. He named certain retired IAS officers.

Is it then a play of career-long order-carriers with an eye on pleasure from putting political leaders in disadvantage?

MLAs are yet to ascertain.

But all of the five MLAs who were representing the OLA in the Delimitation Commission as Associated Members thereof tendered their resignation in protest against
non-implementation of their advice and urged upon the Speaker to take up the matter with appropriate authorities so that political life of Orissa does not get mired in electoral unrest.

Making a special mention of relinquishment of their status during the Zero hour, Congress stalwart Nalinikanta Mohanty told the House that suggestions of the Associated Members were sloughed over by the DC in blatant disregard to delimitation guidelines. The draft notification published by the DC is a detriment deliberately designed to dwindle democratic interaction amongst the electorate and sitting or aspirant candidates in as many as 45 of the Assembly Constituencies of Orissa. If the draft notification is allowed, not only 54 members of the present Assembly belonging to different parties, but also as many as nine members of the present Council of Ministers would be hit by the dislocation. What is the logic behind causing this dislocation if creation of disadvantage for politically unpalatable persons even in the ruling caucus is not the purpose, he wondered. Other members drafted to the DC also reflected almost the same view.

The draft notification is an outcome of disregard to social, cultural and geographical realities prevalent in Orissa and hence cannot be countenanced, said almost all the members who joined the 104 minute long debate.

Speaker Maheswar Mohanty assured to convey an extraordinary meeting of all political parties within a couple of days to find out means to undo the mischief the draft notification is breathing.

The Chief Minister keeps mum.

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