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CS Saves Situation

Bhubaneswar: Soon after assuming the charge as Chief Secretary of Odisha,  Pradeep Kumar Jena has personally intervened in the indefinite strike called by drivers’ association and also successfully resolved it much before things would go beyond the hands. He saved the State from an untoward situation.

Ace Mandarin, Mr.Jena known for his tough approach to a burning problem, which hits crores of people of the State ‘single handedly faced the situation and resolved the trouble caused by agitating drivers in no time.

People are happy; however some of the opposition leaders are left unhappy, pointed out a senior BJD Vice President.

About two lakh drivers under the banner Drivers Ekata Mahasangha were launched an indefinite strike from March 15 to press for their demands including pension, death benefits, life insurance, social security, parking and toilet facility.

They have launched the strike after their meeting with the Transport Minister failed to come to a conclusion. The issue was also raised by the Opposition in the Assembly on March 16 morning. The Opposition BJP and Congress have created a ruckus in the House for early resolution of the demands of the drivers. A delegation of BJP MLAs has also met the agitating drivers in Bhubaneswar.  

In this backdrop, Mr.Jena personally intervened into the issue and held a meeting with the representatives of the Drivers Association on March 16 evening and given written assurance that the State Government will fulfill the demands of the Drivers Ekata Mahasangha in three months.

“The State Government held a meeting with the Drivers Ekata Mahasangha today and the Government is concerned about their demands and considering those. It was decided in the meeting that the Government will consider fulfilling their demands in three months,” the Chief Secretary had said. Mr.Jena has appalled the drivers to call of their strike.     

Following the assurance of the CS, the drivers have withdrawn their strike in many places. However, the protest continued in some places may be due to miscommunication or under the provocation of some groups to create a law and order situation.

On the next day, March 17, Chief Secretary along with DGP once again appealed to the drivers to call off their protest in remaining places. They also warned that strong legal action will be taken, if they take law into their hands.

Respecting the repeated appeal by the Chief Secretary, the Drivers Ekata Mahasangha called off their indefinite strike.

However, it seems that the Opposition is not happy with the Chief Secretary, who was instrumental in calling off the strike. Opposition was smelling blood and some of the opposition leaders were allegedly inciting the agitation leaders. However they failed in face of determined efforts of Chief Secretary, pointed out a BJD Veteran.

Raising the issue in the House, Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra on Saturday said Minister Rita Sahu had met the Chief Secretary to hand over a cheque as a contribution to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF).

Mr.Mishra demanded the Minister’s apology in the House and wanted Mr.Jena to regret the matter. The Minister could have handed over the cheque to the CM or she would have invited the Chief Secretary to his chamber for the same, he said.

Mr.Mishra alleged that there is no value of Ministers in this government.  

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Niranjan Pujari defended the Ministers by saying that it was a one-off case. He dared the opposition to show proof on other Ministers.

Later, BJP MLAs created ruckus while showing a picture of him standing with folded hands in front of a Secretary.

Leader of Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra too said the Chief Secretary held a meeting with the drivers in the absence of the Transport Minister and Transport Department officials.

Later, Mr.Pujari clarified that he was wishing the Chief Minister with folded hands and the shown picture was an edited one.  

Senior BJD leader and Minister Pramila Mallick said the Opposition should not target all on the issue. She added that the Opposition’s allegations were aimed at trimming the powers of the Ministers. Following the ruckus, the House was adjourned till 4 PM.