The Block Development Officer (BDO) in West Bengal’s Hasnabad in North 24-Parganas district claimed that he gets very positive strength to keep going in life by looking at the portraits of Swami Vivekananda and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Arindam Mukherjee, BDO, made the statement at a public gathering held to distribute relief materials villagers affected by the recent cyclone that hit Bengal in North 24 Parganas Hasnabad on Sunday.
"If one stands before CM's portrait for two minutes every morning, one will get some peculiar strength. I myself stand before two photos, one of Swami Vivekananda, the other of hers. I get some energy. This gets me recharged," said Mr. Mukherjee which triggered a controversy in the political corridors of West Bengal.
The bureaucrat's comment drew immense from Congress and BJP in Bengal. BJP leader Jay Prakash questioned the neutrality of the administrative officials. He also stated that the partisan role of the administration is everywhere in Bengal.
"I don’t have a problem if a person gets inspired by looking at the pictures of their idols, in this case, Swami Vivekananda and CM Mamata Banerjee, but I do have a problem when a BDO makes a public statement to a gathering, of such tenacity involving a political personality, that too the CM of the state he is directly working in" said Rohan Mitra of Congress.
Lashing out at the officer's comments, Mitra stated that the officer is supposed to be apolitical, deliver on the scope of work and objectives underlined by his designation.
Even as the political atmosphere heated up over the comment, the BDO backed his statement.
"One needs energy in life. We work 24/7. Someone does Pranayam, some do yoga. It's nothing to do with truth and lies. It's about discipline. Believe me, if you stand in front of CM's portrait, you'll get massive working inspiration and energy" reiterated the West Bengal bureaucrat.