Bhopal: The participation of two civil servants in a perform organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) earlier this month has triggered an enormous row in Madhya Pradesh, with the opposition Congress demanding motion in opposition to the “errant” officers.
The event comes lower than six months earlier than the state is because of maintain meeting elections.
A viral photograph from the RSS perform (‘Samarpan Samaroh’) held in Satna on 11 June exhibits the 2 officers, district collector Anurag Verma and municipal commissioner Rajesh Shahi, not solely attending the occasion but additionally holding their palms as much as carry out the ‘dhwaj pranaam‘ — the Hindutva organisation’s customary salute.
The salute is carried out by folding one’s proper arm, palm down, in entrance of 1’s chest.
Vivek Tankha, a Congress Rajya Sabha MP, tweeted a photograph of the occasion Sunday and stated in an accompanying put up in Hindi: “These photos of two officers taking part in an RSS occasion and doing dhwaj pranaam are district collector Anurag Verma and municipal commissioner Rajesh Shahi. With such relations, how can these officers conduct free and neutral elections?”
Tankha additionally tagged the Election Fee of India to demand that the 2 officers be pulled out of the election course of, and urged the state’s chief secretary, Iqbal Singh Bains, to behave in opposition to them.
मप्र के चीफ सेक्रेटरी से अपेक्षा है ऐसे अधिकारियों के विरुद्ध कार्यवाही करे। क्या CS ऐसा करेंगे। उनको रिटायरमेंट के पश्चात दूसरा एक्सटेंशन दिया गया है।मप्र की ८ करोड़ जनता अधिकारियों से निष्पक्षता की अपेक्षा करती है। जो अधिकारी राजनीति करेंगे उनके सितारे गर्दिश में ज़रूर जाएँगे।
— Vivek Tankha (@VTankha) June 18, 2023
On his half, Verma advised ThePrint that he had accompanied the state’s advocate normal, Prashant Singh, to the occasion.
“I don’t really feel that there was something incorrect because it was a public occasion with over 8,000 individuals, and being current there, we participated within the stated customs,” he advised ThePrint.
When contacted, Shahi stated he and Verma had stood within the “similar posture as others” as a result of they had been a part of the occasion.
“This doesn’t imply that we belong or promote any explicit ideology,” he stated. “Simply two weeks in the past we went to an occasion organised by the Nirankari group and there have been prayers taking place and so we additionally stood with folded palms to be a part of that occasion. This doesn’t imply that we’re propagating their ideology. We’re authorities servants and generally take part in cultural occasions together with the gang.”
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‘Will chief secretary act?’
The officers, based on Tankha, had violated their service guidelines.
“The AG had gone in his capability as a politician — a place which the Structure permits AG to carry. However the service guidelines for a civil servant stipulate a unique conduct,” he advised ThePrint, including that the Congress would compile a listing of such “partisan bureaucrats” for crucial motion to be taken “when there’s a change of presidency within the state”.
In his Twitter put up, Tankha additionally puzzled if chief secretary Bains, a 1985-batch IAS officer who has been given two extensions since he was as a consequence of retire final November — the final one having are available in Might — would have the need to behave in opposition to the 2 civil servants.
“The chief secretary of MP is predicted to take motion in opposition to such officers. However will CS do that? He has been given a second extension after retirement,” he wrote. “The eight crore individuals of Madhya Pradesh anticipate impartiality from officers and people who do politics will see their stars dim.”
ThePrint reached Bains for remark by way of phone and textual content message. This report shall be up to date if and when he responds.
In the meantime, MP Congress communications in-charge Ok.Ok. Mishra stated the celebration would register a criticism in opposition to the 2 officers with the central Division of Personnel and Coaching (DoPT), below which they arrive.
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)
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