Overheard In Bhopal: The Next Chief Secy, Worried Bureaucrats & More

Overheard In Bhopal: The Next Chief Secy, Worried Bureaucrats & More

The real issue is that the collector is working under the pressure of a minister who was behind his transfer to the district.

NITENDRA SHARMAUpdated: Monday, October 23, 2023, 11:48 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh):

Number one

There are speculations about who will become the chief secretary (CS) if the Congress forms the next government. But it is clear that if the BJP comes to power, a senior officer, on deputation to the Centre, will return to the state to take over the coveted post. Everyone in the state is in doubt about the Congress. It is said that an additional chief secretary (ACS) is number one on the Congress’s list of candidates for the post, and the officer has also become very important for the party. Besides those associated with Sahib are helping the opposition camp. Thus, if the Congress forms the next government, this ACS is all set to take over as CS, and a senior leader of the party has agreed to candidature for the top job in state bureaucracy. It was on the recommendations of this leader that the Congress appointed CS after coming to power in 2018. This leader will play an important role in appointing the next CS. Because the politician is with the ACS, if the opposition forms a government after the election, Sahib’s chances to become the CS are bright.

Misdeeds unfolding

Two central ministers’ continuous halt in the state may weigh heavy on a few officers. Because of the election, the two ministers have been staying in the state for a long time and also getting feedback on the officers’ performance from different sources. A man recently gave feedback to one of the ministers about a senior IAS officer at an informal meeting. The man informed the minister about the properties of the officer and how he gathered those properties through backhanders in the past few years. The minister was very happy about the information he got. Afterwards, the minister told the gentleman to make him hip to the have-on of the officers. These ministers are also getting information about the deals of many other officers. Though it is not known how the ministers will use this feedback in the coming days, it is for sure that wrongdoings of the officers are unfolding.

Highly disappointed

Ticket distribution has highly disappointed a few retired IAS officers, because they failed to get tickets for the upcoming election. Many retired IAS officers sought tickets either from the BJP or from the Congress, but both the parties have turned down their demand. Another officer, who resigned from the job to contest an election, is also upset. The Congress denied him a ticket, because his name did not figure in the survey conducted by the party before distribution of tickets. Similarly, a retired officer made rounds of the residence of a Congress leader, but nobody paid any attention to him. Similarly, three IAS officers pulled out all the stops to get tickets from the BJP, and remained at the door of a leader of the party for three months. Many politicians of the party assured these three officers that they would get tickets, but none of them was considered for it. Since the attitude of the BJP and the Congress towards these retired officers is clear, Achche Din for these officers is unlikely to come soon.

Deprived of salary

A retired IAS officer has been rehabilitated to an organisation, but he did not get a salary even after working there for six months. The officer has been rehabilitated to the organisation after his retirement. The establishment, where he is working, had to prepare service conditions for engaging a retired IAS officer. Immediately after his appointment, the retired officer had a tiff with an ACS who heads the organisation. The service conditions of the retired officers were not prepared as a result of falling-out. An order for his salary was also not issued, so Sahib did not get a single penny from the organisation. Although he has been rehabilitated to another department, he is not ready to give up on a single penny of his six months’ salary. On the other hand, the ACS is also in no mood to relent, and he has refused to follow the instructions issued by the higher-ups about releasing the retired officer’s salary.

Officers on target

The assembly is near, and political parties are filing complaints against officers. The opposition generally seeks removal of an officer during an election, but now, the ruling party has demanded the Election Commission to remove a female collector from a district. The leaders of the ruling party received complaints that madam was giving more importance to a few leaders of the opposition than to those of the ruling dispensation. The leaders of the ruling party made all efforts to transfer madam from the district before the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into force. But after they failed to get her removed, those leaders met their senior counterparts in the state after the enforcement of MCC. When the senior politicians were hesitating to take a decision, the leaders from the district brought an issue related to the BJP’s ideology. Afterwards, a demand for her removal was raised at the BJP’s state party office. Because the complaints against Madam are not very strong, the party has swept those plaints under the carpet. But one thing is clear: the BJP leaders’ inviting madam’s ire may weigh heavy on them in the coming days.

Worried bureaucrats

Angst is prevailing among the collectors of three districts since their counterparts in two districts were removed after the imposition of the MCC. Local Congress leaders have been targeting these collectors for a long time. Ergo, complaints will be filed against them in the coming days. The problem with these collectors is that the BJP leaders got them transferred to the districts. Now, the officers are in a dilemma: if they work neutrally, they will invite the wrath of the BJP leaders, and if they work in favour of the ruling party, they will attract the anger of the opposition camp. One of the collectors even contacted a Congress leader so that he may work in the district till the election. The collector assured the Congress leader that there would not be any irregularity in the election. On the other hand, the collector of another district is highly strung, because local politicians have already complained against this officer. The real issue is that the collector is working under the pressure of a minister who was behind his transfer to the district. He fears if he is shifted from the district because of the MCC, the chief secretary will never let him become a collector again.

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