Biju Yuva Vahini-A hole in the Ship?

Biju Yuva Vahini-A hole in the Ship?

BY NPM BUREAUnnIf the memoirs of a former Chief Minister of Odisha is to be believed, an outfit called Tathagata Intelligence Secret Service Agency (TISSA) during the Emergency was the reason for the ouster of the then Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy in 1976.nnAnd in 2018, political observers feel that a similar outfit ?Biju Yuva Vahini? named after Biju Patnaik and formed by the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Government seems to be going on TISSA way and may turn the Naveen Patnaik-led government down.nnNilamani Routray, former Chief Minister of Odisha, in his autobiography ?Smruti O? Anubhuti? recalls that Nandini Satpathy was heading the Odisha Government during the time of ?Emergency? proclaimed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The state police had crossed all limits during 1975. The state-run police department was hand in glove with the outfit TISSA to suppress the political opponents in Odisha.nnThe TISSA was floated and being organised by Tathagata Satpathy, the younger son of Nandini Satpathy and present Member of Parliament. The outfit was formed to counter the Youth Congress headed by Ram Chandra Rath (President – All India Youth Congress). Rath was very close to Sanjay Gandhi, the then Super Prime Minister during ?Emergency?.nnRath, who was a Union Minister with Independent Charge, was at helm of affairs of Youth Congress. He, being a close political aide of Sanjay, was not in good terms with Nandini and had a damn care attitude towards her.nnRoutray recalls that hooliganism of TISSA had peaked to such a level that political opponents of Nandini stopped their ?Morning Walks? and preferred to remain at home in fear.nnTISSA, unlike the Police Intelligence, was collecting information about political leaders and their activities. Such was the nexus that the police were assisting the TISSA in training its members to operate gun. The TISSA members, on the orders of the then Police Inspector General, were collecting guns and cartridges from the Police Treasury. Investigations had revealed that ?unaudited? fund meant for the Police Intelligence Services to collect information was being spent for the TISSA operations.nnPipe guns, stain guns, revolvers and bombs were being purchased in connivance with anti-socials of Calcutta in order to smash the political opponents. Political opponents of Nandini had been targeted and were attacked at many places like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Berhampur.nnNandini, with the muscle power and network of TISSA, was apparently enjoying such power that she was projecting herself as ?Asiara Udit Surjya? ? the Rising Sun of Asia which was written on the wall of the Odisha State Secretariat.nnAccording to political grapevine, veteran Congress leader Kanhu Charan Lenka had taken a photo of the wall written ?The Rising Sun of Asia- Nandini? and showed it to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi describing the activities of TISSA across Odisha.nnSubsequently, the then Minister of State for Home Om Mehta, on the orders of Sanjay Gandhi, had landed in Odisha and observed the ground realities. Consequently, it was decided to place Binayak Acharya as Chief Minister instead of Nandini. As a result of which, Nandini, although reluctant, had to resign and lost Chief Minister?s chair on 16th December 1976.nnThe Border Security Force and the Central Armed Police Force, keeping the activities of TISSA in view, had reached Bhubaneswar through Airbus and train. TISSA was neutralised. TISSA was a parallel organisation of the State Police Intelligence which was evident from the fact that the residence of Nandini was raided.nnNow, after four decades of Emergency, another outfit on the lines of TISSA has emerged in the state as political observers and opposition parties allege that the current ?Biju Yuva Vahini? formed by the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD Government is just the replica of the then TISSA.nnNotably, the Naveen Patnaik government has formed the Biju Yuva Vahini with a view to develop leadership qualities among the youth of the state in order to engage them in social works. The State Cabinet has approved the project on 14th March, and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs has been entrusted with the task of recruiting the youth from Panchayat level. Young persons from the age of 15 to 35 are being recruited for this outfit.nnThe Biju Yuva Vahini is being headed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik. It?s quite similar as the then TISSA was allegedly operated in connivance with an IG rank police officer.nnHowever, the opposition parties like the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were alleging that the Biju Yuva Vahini was working for the BJD as it has been formed by the government and is being funded from the public exchequer. The issue has become so important that opposition is terming it as ?Biju Goonda Vahini?.nnBoth the Congress and the BJP have also demanded the information from the Government in relation to the following points: what is the source of the fund, what is the amount of annual budget, which department is allocating the fund, what is the criteria of selection procedure and what steps had been taken to supervise the expenditure and to maintain transparency.nnThe opposition even demanded Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)?s audit into the expenditure of the Biju Yuva Vahini, but the Naveen Patnaik-led State Government has not divulged any information to the CAG citing a reason of being busy in organising the Odisha Hockey World Cup.nnThe failure in providing the information to CAG itself clearly shows that all is not well and the State government is hiding the truth. As such, the political critics predict the beginning of the collapse of the BJD cart owing to the hooliganism by its outfit in a way like the TISSA.

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