STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Paralakhemundi, 4 September
The block development officer (BDO) of Rayagada Mr Biswajit Burman finds himself caught in a crossfire between two groups of warring elected panchayati raj representatives.
One group wants Burman to be removed from the block while the other wants him to stay. Both factions have petitioned the district collector Basudev Bahinipati in this regard.
On 30 August, when the panchayat samity meeting was in progress, more than ten elected representatives led by former chairman of the block Naba Kishore Sabara met the Collector and hurled accusations againstMr Burman.
“He is not regular to office, he acts in a dictatorial fashion and misbehaves with people “ alleged Mr Puspakesi Sabara, the sarpanch of Rayagada.
The Collector had promised the agitated members that he will examine their complaint.
But soon after another group led by the vice chairman Kandara Sabara and Zilla Parishad Member Antryami Gamanga met him and said allegations leveled against the BDO were false and motivated.
“Certain elements acting as brokers are trying to force the BDO into illegal acts which he is refusing to do. They are now alleging several things only to put pressure on the young BDO” said Mr Sabara .
The BDO Burman, on his part, has decided to keep himself away from the controversy and has decided to maintain equal distance from both the groups.
“Rayagada Block has managed to come up top in implementation of the various government activities and is considered as a model Block of the village . The Chairman and her coterie are trying to hinder this for which he is being targeted” said the ZP Member Antaryami Gamanga.
The chairman Sakunatala Sabara countered this saying the BDO overruns the PRI setup and imposes his decision on the elected bodies. People here hope that the district collector will resolve the dispute soon lest it starts taking a toll on developmental activity in the backward block.