NOT JUST CONGRESS, EVERY GOVERNMENT WANTS ‘YES MEN’

The article originally appeared on India Today.

A Congress led state government has shunted out an honest IPS officer, DIG (Prisons) Roopa D Moudgil for unearthing corruption in the Bengaluru Central Prison that how jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala was getting undue favours by bribing officials. The state administration has alleged that she exceeded her brief by talking to media, even if, in public perception, she has blown the lid off a massive corruption in state prisons which come directly under CM Siddaramaiah who also holds the Home Ministry portfolio of the state.

The opposition BJP in the state is crying hoarse over it and is preparing to raise the Sasikala prison affair in the Parliament tomorrow. Karnataka BJP president Yeddyurappa likened the treatment meted to her as ‘punishment for honesty’ and said he would raise the issue with India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

But just a fortnight ago, a BJP run state government in Uttar Pradesh had shunted out an honest IPS officer, Bulandshahr DSP Shrestha Thakur, for fining a BJP worker who violated traffic rules. BJP city president and other workers rushed to the spot and soon there was an ugly verbal spat reeking arrogance of power as the BJP workers started blaming police for asking for bribe. The DSP went ahead with her action and jailed five BJP workers instead for creating obstruction in discharging government duties. The incident had happened on June 22 and Shrestha Thakur was transferred to Bahraich on July 1. The move was widely seen as a punishment transfer for going against the workers of ruling party in the state.

Also, the Adityanath government’s order to transfer Saharanpur SSP Luv Kumar to Gautam Budh Nagar in April, though claimed to be a compromise, was seen as punishment transfer as Raghav Lakhanpal, BJP Lok Sabha MP from Saharanpur, had claimed that he would get the SSP transferred terming him ‘naalayak (worthless). Kumar was credited with containing the communal fare-up and had booked Lakhanpal and other BJP MLAs and workers for allegedly inciting rioting and arsoning. He had not allowed BJP procession led by Lakhanpal, commemorating Ambedkar birth anniversary to pass through a restricted route which had angered Lakhanpal.

In May, the AIADMK government of E Palaniswamy in Tamil Nadu had transferred N K Senthamarai Kannan, North Zone IG, and J Mutharasi, Kancheepuram SP. The government move was seen as reprimanding as both of these officers were responsible for police action at the Golden Bay Resort where VK Sasikala had rounded up AIADMK MLAs to keep her flock intact in the AIADMK faction war between O Panneerselvam and Sasikala to corner the ruling party of Tamil Nadu after J Jayalalithaa’s death.

In November 2015, Fatehabad SP Sangeeta Rani Kalia was transferred by another BJP run state government in Haryana after heated verbal exchange with senior Haryana minister Anil Vij. After a verbal spat on illicit liquor trade, the minister asked the SP to get out of the meeting. The SP responded back by saying the minister could not humiliate her like that and she was not going to leave. The minister then stormed out. The next day, the SP was transferred.

The case of Durga Shakti Nagpal, a young IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh, was a shocking incident and this time it was a Samajwadi Pary (SP) government. She was posted as Sub-Divisional Magistrate in Gautam Budh Nagar’s Greater Noida. She was just 28 then but her steely resolve saw effective crackdown on sand-mining mafia of the area many of whom were very near to the power corridors of Lucknow.

Though she was suspended under allegations of inciting communal tension by ordering razing down a mosque boundary wall, it was seen as punishment for taking on sand mafia for which she had won national praise. While she was being charge-sheeted, senior SP leaders were busy making humiliating remarks against her. Senior SP leader Narender Bhati was caught on camera bragging that he got her suspended within 41 hours. Another UP minister called her a liar and CM Akhilesh Yadav himself termed her an errant child. All this when Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to Manmohan Singh to ensure justice to her; Ram Jethmalani offered to defend her case; and UP and Central IAS Officers Associations petitioned the UP government against her suspension.

From Congress to BJP to AIADMK to SP, these are just some of the incidents to show how political parties treat bureaucrats. The message is clear that they all need just ‘yes men’. If someone dares to take a different line based on conscience, the person should be ready to face consequences.

©SantoshChaubey

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