Free Press Journal

OVERHEARD: Riding two ponies


Difficult as it is to ride two ‘ponies’ at the same time, a senior IAS officer is just doing that with such alacrity as is required for the job. He is reaping the best fruits of the plum position he is in because of his closeness to the ruling party on the one hand and he is cottoning up with a Congress leader to keep his future safe on the other.  So close has the officer grown to the leader that the former has begun giving the latter the advice on how to handle the social media.

The leader, too, is employing his advice in letter and spirit in the field of information and technology.  Their friendship has deepened, so much so that the officer is always at the leader’s beck and call. A BJP leader made a complaint against him to higher authorities about that, but nobody paid any heed to it. About this officer, it is said that whatever the department he is shifted to, remains in limbo. As it is, if the Congress Party wins the next election, he will discard one of the ‘ponies’ and ‘stick a feather in his cap,’ although he may not call it ‘macaroni’.


A Principal Secretary who was playing in the front foot for the BJP and the RSS has gone on the back foot these days.  He is going by the rule book and has directed his subordinates to work carefully, so that errors may not creep into the paper work they are doing. The way of behaving of the officer is indicative of the fact that the tide is against the ruling party.

Besides, the Principal Secretary has put in the cold storage all the work assigned to him by a minister of the department.  His style of working has not only amazed his colleagues but also the RSS bosses who thought the PS to be a man of theirs. The official concerned, who was the main adviser to the government in previous elections, has got angry with the head of the government.


The government has recently dragged through the mud a Secretary after receiving a complaint against him, because the plaint had cast aspersions on his style of functioning. The episode has also put the government in the dock. Before that, the officer had courted controversies during his posting to another place, and since a case of irregularity had cropped up during that period against him, he was asked to be more cautious. Even before the Secretary could rid himself of the dispute, he found himself caught in another. This time, the hands of a retired officer from the state cadre may have been behind the Secretary’s removal.

Played he may have all the tricks in shifting that Secretary because of the constitutional post the retired officer holds. The Chief Minister was told that the retired officer who was in Delhi would get the Secretary transferred if the government did not do that. Fed up with all that, the Secretary who is in the Chief Minister’s secretariat wants to get shifted to another department in the next administrative shake-up that may soon happen. And with but few options he is, he may not find getting himself transferred from the CM’s secretariat easy.


Known to be close to the Chief Minister, a minister has recently foxed him. After the incidents of violence in three districts on April 2, the head of the state told him to go to the violence-torn areas and bring the situation under control. He may have accepted the directives of his boss, but the minister did not visit the riot-ravaged areas fearing loss of vote bank. So afraid the minister was of being slighted by locals, that he did not dare go there.

Rather, he tacked a notice to one of the walls of his house in the state capital that said he was out, but he was very much inside his residence and met people close to him. Since the minister gets occasionally out of sight, the Chief Minister who came to know of it later kept mum because of the current political situation. The minister dreams of holding the reins of the party in the state. But said it is about him, that how he can be in the saddle of the party when he commands no respect in his own fief?


The corridors of power are abuzz with the talks of a secretary-rank officer being posted to the office of the Election Commission. Before his shifting, the government had sent a list comprising the names of those who wanted to be transferred to the Commission, and the officer concerned gave his consent. If all goes well, the officer has to do the government’s work along with the one given to him by the Commission, though for the time being. Later, he will deal with the Commission’s work only. The government is behind sending him to the Election Commission.

He has been the collector of two districts which the head of the state is fond of. Besides, he was the collector of one of the two districts where a dispute had come up during an election in which the fate of a politician had to be decided. Now, clear it is that, he has links with higher-ups. By posting him to the Election Commission, the government has killed two birds with one stone. It has sent an officer of its choice to a higher position on the one hand and evaded its responsibility for such an action saying it was the selection by the commission on the other.

Kachra Master

A collector in a district has earned the endearing sobriquet ‘Kachra Master’. With whomsoever he has an issue to pick with he simply dumps garbage outside his or her house. He has recently had a dispute with a police officer. And, the collector lost no time in dumping garbage outside his (police officer’s) house. Finally, the poor police officer had to patch up with the collector Sahib aka ‘Kachra Master.’ Not only this police officer, but another Sahib had also incurred the Kachra Master’s wrath.

During his posting to other places, he had picked fights with police officers. A BJP leader in the district is also fed up with him and made a complaint against the collector, but nothing happened. The politician said the collector was posted to the district only to torment him. As it is, complaints against him reached the state capital, but the powers that be came to Kachra Master’s rescue.