When a government official recently yelled at a legislator in Cuttack district accusing him of taking bribe in full public view, it left everybody bewildered.

But the official nonchalantly finished his work and left the place. Supporters of the MLA, however, could not digest the insult. They quickly gave a proposal that the official be transferred Malkanagiri, a naxalite infested region.

The proposal sounded soothing to the ears of the MLA. After inquiry, the MLA was utterly surprised to find that that the official was transferred to Cuttack, the second biggest city of the State, on punishment. The state government employees actually belonged to Malkangiri and had no problem in going back to his home district.

The legislator had no option but to swallow the insult. He was heard whispering to his supporters to stay away from the officer and let him work without interference. Politicians in the State often arm-twist government officials by threatening to transfer them to difficult places.

Proximity to Naveen!

Proving proximity to the BJD supremo and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has become a hard nut to crack for the district level leaders.

But for it these leaders have to take much pain. Usually Mr Patnaik includes a large number of inauguration and foundation stone laying ceremonies to his short visit to any district. During his recent visit for around six hours to Ganjam district he had over 16 functions to attend in different locations. At times he hopped by helicopter or his motorcade sped at breakneck speed to stick to the tight schedule.

The district level leaders had devised a way to stick to the Chief Minister through out the series of functions. They had arranged for drivers who were adept in speeding. They reached the spot of a function few minutes ahead of the Chief Minister and tried to escape from the spot before the Chief Minister to reach the next function to be attended by him. At the venue they tried to push each other to be in the range of cameras focused at Mr Patnaik. They were least bothered whether Mr Patnaik recognisd them or not. Their only aim was to have documented evidence in the cameras regarding their so-called proximity with the Chief Minister.

(Satyasundar Barik and Sib Kumar Das)