By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Feb 11 (IANS) The tussle between the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government and the bureaucracy continues. It culminated into transfer of over 30 IAS officers on Sunday, right before the start of the budget session on Monday.
The face-off that started 13 months ago has seen six Ministers and two MLAs making direct attacks on the bureaucracy, alleging non-cooperation.
First among them was Tourism Minister Vishwendra Singh. He was so annoyed with bureaucrats of his ministry that he stopped visiting the Paryatan Bhavan. For the past many months, he has regularly been tweeting his grievances against officials in allotment of tenders.
Finally on Sunday, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Kunj Bihari Pandya was transferred.
Upset with the officials, Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas had openly said those who didn’t listen to their Ministers must be transferred. Finally, Principal Transport Secretary Rajesh Kumar Yadav was shifted out. He had dispute with Khachariwas over implementation of a central law.
Mines Minister Pramod Bhaya too was upset. In June, he tweeted despite the change of government, the working style of bureaucracy remained the same. The tiff between the Minister and the officials continued since then. On Sunday, Principal Secretary (Mines) Dinesh Kumar was shifted out.
Forest Minister Sukhram and Principal Secretary Shreya Guha were in disagreement over the wildlife board membership. Guha has been re-designated as the Principal Secretary of the Tourism, Art and Culture Department and Sudhansh Pant, who was awaiting posting, appointed the Principal Secretary of the Forest and Environment Department.
Principal Secretary (Water Supply) Sandeep Verma who had locked horns with Minister B.D. Kalla over engineers’ promotion was transferred too.
Not only with Ministers, reports suggested that all was not well with the Chief Minister’s Office. Eventually, Ajitabh Sharma, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, was transferred to the Energy Department.
On the Minister Vs Officials, a senior official told IANS, the Congress Ministers were seeking to get their self-sustaining objectives fulfilled and if objected they would turn againt the official.
Showing a paper, he said Health Minister Raghu Sharma had started ordering 10-50 food packets each day from National Health Mission (NHM) office soon after the formation of Congress government in December 2018. He also requested ACs to be installed with the NHM funds at his home. When it was questioned by a senior officer, he got upset and started demanding his transfer.