BJD urges Chhattisgarh governor to refrain from making statements on Odisha matters

BJD urges Chhattisgarh governor to refrain from making statements on Odisha matters

Bhubaneswar, Nov 24 (PTI) The ruling BJD on Friday urged Chhattisgarh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan to refrain from making statements on Odisha matters, which according to the regional party was not expected from a person in the stature of a governor.

The BJD's reaction came after two statements of Harichandan during his recent Odisha visit.

The Chhattisgarh governor had expressed displeasure over crowd mismanagement and plight of devotees at Shree Jagannath temple in Puri.

Referring to the ongoing controversy on ST people being allowed to transfer their land to non-tribals, Harichandan, who was earlier the revenue and disaster management minister in Odisha in the BJD-BJP coalition government from 2000 to 2009, had said tribal people's rights should be protected.

'We hope Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan will refrain from making such statements which is not expected of him and his office. His responsibility is to stay non-political,' BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra and Priyabrata Majhi told reporters at a joint press conference.

They also described Harichandan’s statement as 'unwarranted' and suggested the Chhattisgarh governor to maintain sanctity and dignity of his office.

Maintaining that over the last 76 years of independence, governors have played a very important and impartial role in the strengthening of democracy, the BJD leaders said they often become happy when an Odia is elevated to the post of a governor, whether it is Janaki Ballav Patnaik as governor of Assam, Droupadi Murmu as governor of Jharkhand or Biswabhusan Harichandan as governor of Andhra Pradesh; and presently governor of Chhattisgarh.

They pointed out that as per Article 153 to 162 of the Constitution, governors are expected to be neutral. They are expected to be non-political, and therefore have to resign from a political position or a political party before taking the office of the governor. They are also expected to maintain the dignity of the office of governor by not making any such statements or remarks which might lead to the lowering of the dignity and respect of their position, they added.

However, over the past few days Harichandan expressed views on various subjects on Odisha which is not expected of him, the BJD leaders said, adding, 'We do understand that he is desperate to find a politically relevant position for his son, who has never won an election in his life and also lost a ward member election of councillor'.

Harichandan’s son Prithiviraj, who is the general secretary of BJP’s Odisha unit, was not immediately available for comment. PTI AAM AAM MNB

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