Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
In these pages we have often shown how Orissa is being looted in Naveen Patnaik’s administration.
From Public Sector Undertakings to Block Development Offices, practice of corruption by public servants and accumulation of wealth beyond known sources of their income make his administration distinguishable from all other regimes the State has experienced so far.
Even as we once disagreed with demands for CBI inquiry into mines scam on the premise that it is vulnerable to extraconstitutional pressure as apparent in Bofors kickback and Quattrocchi case, and therefore, the State Vigilance that has unmasked a pack of mines looters and taken to books certain officers of the mines department, should be encouraged to proceed, one of our esteemed readers Ms. Niharika Bose in her response wondered as to why the Secretary under whom the suspended officials of the mines department worked,has been left untouched. Her apprehensions are remarkable. She said, “Surely everything is not as it appears and the people of Odisha have come to know about the powers that remain”. This justified our views that the Sate Vigilance should tell the people if Naveen himself is not involved in the crimes against the State in matter of mines, if the vigilance raids were not stage-managed to hoodwink the public.
But instead of being controlled, corruption in Naveen Patnaik’s regime has become so pervasive that a recent vigilance raid has unveiled wealth exceeding many crores in money value accumulated by a peon, Bhagyadhar Das, working in the record room of the office of the district collector of Cuttack. Das was earlier a chain-man attached to an amin in the lowest rung of revenue set-up, who demarcates plots of lands in terms of maps and is not even confirmed in his post.
Bhagyadhar is not the only person, who in employment in the lowest rank, has amassed millions as exposed in vigilance raids. Last year, in August, a night watchman of Industrial Development Corporation (IDCO), Rajanikant Jena, posted at Cuttack Division, was found by vigilance a possessor of more than Rs.2 crore worth property.
If such Class IV employees have become multi-millionaires, just imagine what has become the spread of corruption in Naveen Patnaik’s regime.