Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan slams Odisha Govt for not participating in meeting convened by Niti Aayog

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Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday hit out at the Odisha Government for not participating in the two-day meeting convened by the Niti Aayog in New Delhi from January 4.

Notably, opposing the Centre’s move to appoint Odisha-Cadre IAS officers as Prabhari (in-charge) officers in eight most backward districts, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Koraput, Dhenkanal and Balangir, to address specific developmental needs, the State Government had decided to give a miss to the event.

Accusing the ruling BJD of trying to politicise the issue, Pradhan at the BJP office here said the State Government took the step without understanding the modus operandi behind the Niti Aayog’s decision.

“Odisha’s Chief Secretary was approached by the Niti Aayog several times. He is an intellectual person, I don’t know who or what pressurised him to write that Odisha was not taken into confidence while appointing the Prabhari officers,” said Pradhan.

“I request Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to review his Government’s decision. The Centre has not forced its decision on the State. The State has all rights to bring in changes in the proposal. Besides, the whole process will be carried out under the Chief Secretary,” he said.

The Niti Aayog’s move should not be seen as an interference of the Centre into the business of the State, he said, adding that the Chief Minister should prove he is the “Best Administrator through action and not just words”.

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