Orissa CM dances to the tune of Pandian ! Rule of Law in trammels: Governor silent when an Editor revolts

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In these pages, almost a decade ago on October 7, 2013, I had warned Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that his private secretary V.K.Pandian was emerging as the Super Chief Minister. This anarchy, unless done away with, rule of Law in Orissa would be in trammels. The caption was “Super CM in Orissa CMO! The CM may please note” and many a members of the then cabinet had told me that the CM’s attention was drawn to the same. In fact, for a few months thereafter, Pandian was found to have tamed himself not to be that aggressive which the report had exposed.

But, now, it seems, he has practically been accepted as the super CM to whose tune CM Naveen Patnik has been dancing shamelessly!

Rule of Law in Orissa is in severe trammels, with a Governor too confused to express displeasure over the marked decadence in adherence to “The Rule of Business” which under Article 166 of the Constitution the State’s Governor has framed and promulgated. Contravention of these Rules is a serious administrative misconduct that warrants his displeasure, he knows. But Governor Ganeshi Lal is an agent of the Central Government that wants the misrule of BJD to continue so that Modi’s party would be the ultimate beneficiary of public wrath against the nonchalant Naveen Patnaik.

Rule of Business has defined every responsibility in administration. Departments are named and their responsibilities are earmarked. Ministers including the Chief Minister have their respective responsibilities and the Secretaries have theirs. In a department allotted to a Minister, he/she heads the Political Government, whereas in the same department, the Secretary heads the Executive Government. All the departments created under and named in the Rules of Business are as constitutional under Article 166 as are the concerned Ministers and Secretaries. Any mischief created beyond this framework is unconstitutional and hence the Chief Minister branding Pandian as 5T Secretary is blatantly unconstitutional.

The first voice

When our people were sleeping and media was, as a whole, celebrating the claim of Eastern Media (The Kanak News) that its survey has shown Pandian to be more powerful than the Ministers, even the Chief Secretary, I had discussed the syndrome under the caption ‘When CM’s PS is more powerful than the State’s CS, it is Anarchy‘. I had closed this editorial, with the following words:

I waited till now to know how Pandian reacts to this exposure that he “pull(s) the strings of the Chief Minister’s office” and he “wields enormous power in not only the government, but also Biju Janata Dal”. He seems enjoying this recorded glory.

How does the Chief Secretary – the number one authority over Orissa’s bureaucracy – who legally heads the Executive Government, react to this? How is a paid government servant “wields enormous power” in “Biju Janata Dal”? This being on records, why has he not been asked to explain his position in this respect, as yet?

If this is not anarchy, what else is?

A design of power

Mr. Soumyaranjan Patnaik’s media house endeavored to project Pandian as Orissa’s third most powerful person (next only to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Central Minister Dharmendra Pradhan) when Bhasha Andolan for governance of Orissa in Oriya had engaged the Chief Minister in finding ways to sabotage my proposed Law adopted by the Ministerial Committee. Soumyababu was the strongest media supporter of this Andolan. But, eventually, in order to have a seat in the Rajya Sabha, he sabotaged the Bhasha Andolan and with a self-generated distinctiveness of a server of Naveen’s interest, he joined BJD, controlled by Pandian.

He even subjected Bhasha Andolan to a complete blackout in Sambad, as I refused to succumb to his pressure to withdraw the agitation. I have given words to this sordid design of power in my report to the nation of the Oriyas under the title ORIYA BHASHAKU NABINANKA MARANAAGHAT (Naveen’s deathblow to Oriya language).

But the Time’s design is different. The Party he joined after putting my campaign into a complete blackout in his media network,is subjecting him to a political blackout at the moment!

No sooner had he taken oath as a member in the Rajya Sabha than he resigned under a dream of becoming a minister in the State and to eventually become the Chief Minister after Naveen, with the BJD suffering a dearth of Chiefministerial candidate. He managed to have the neccessary BJD ticket for a seat in the Assembly from Khandapara Constituency and won. But his dream couldn’t be achieved as yet.

Out of cocoon

Time changes. So also changes the stance of peresons in public life. The Editor of the Sambad in the heart of the politician that Soumyaranjan certainly is, has come out of his cocoon and has almost echoed what I have been saying in these pages since a decade. The time he has picked up to revolt is significant, as the entire State is visibly embarassed with the Chief Minister dancing to the tune of Pandian.

That Soumya’s revolt has put the government in fidgets is amply evidenced in the fact that his newspaper Sambad has not only been jettisoned as carrier of Government’s ads, but also noteworthy BJD leaders have started using sharp words against him for his editorial on the discernible misrule, wherein he has pointed fingers at Pandian for his unruly conduct. After Anubhav Patnaik , Arun Sahoo and Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Pratap Dev has become the tongue of the ruling party to the extreme extent of calling him a blackmailer. One may deduce that the CM’s men are casting forth such anger against Soumyaranjan in an orchastrated manner after he raised allegations against Pandian, though none of these BJD leaders are rejecting Soumya’s allegation that the CM is dancing to the tune of Pandian.

An intersting development

It is interesting to note that Orissa Pradesh Congress has all on a sudden jumped into the fray by castigating the BJD fellows for attributing selfish motive to Soumyaranjan’s tirades against Pandian. A spokesman of PCC has gone upto saying that if Soumyababu prefers to rejoin the Congress, the party would feel fortunate to welcome him!

All these political achrobatics, watched with keen interest in the State, are silently dragging both Naveen Patnaik as Chief of the Political Government and Pradip Kumar Jena, IAS as the Chief of the Executive Government to an answerable situation, as they are silent so far on the very vexing issue of administrative discipline, to which is Pandian bound, as an IAS officer.

If truly Orissa CM is dancing to the tune of Pandian, the rule of Law in Orissa is evidently in trammels. Revolt of the Sambad Editor in the heart of the politician Soumyaranjan is certainly the most welcome development.

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