Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh):
The officials of a government department are worried about the BJP’s election in charge who is also a Union Minister. No sooner had the minister taken over the reins of the party’s election committee and visited the state than he removed a senior officer from the department. In Madhya Pradesh, the officers of the department, which the Union Minister heads, fear lest the axe should also fall on them if he remains in the state till the election. Angry with the IFS officer, the minister advised the state government to remove him from the department, but nobody paid any heed to his instructions. Now that he has been appointed election in charge of the ruling party, his stature in the organisation has grown. This was the reason that as soon as he took over as the in charge of the state election committee, he removed the officer. He also scrapped another officer’s transfer order issued five months ago. His actions indicate that officers of the department have to remain alert till the election, for the minister will keep an eye on the party’s work as well as on the functioning of his department.
Three about-to-retire IPS officers are getting ready to do something different after retirement. One of them plans to launch a big business. Since he is very influential in the corridors of power in Delhi, he wants to set up a business there. From a policeman, Sahib, who is enjoying the support of an industrialist, may become a businessman. Similarly, another IPS officer plans to try his hand in politics and has warmed himself up for it. As soon as he retires, he will settle in a neighbouring state. The other officer, waiting for the assembly election, will work according to its outcome. If a government of his choice is formed, he will remain in MP. Else, he will do something new.
A principal secretary-rank female officer is feeling low these days. The reason for such thought is that although most of the officers are holding additional charge, the woman officer has not even been given the independent charge of any department. The government has posted an additional chief secretary (ACS) in the department. The ACS has, however, given her full freedom to work as well as all the powers that she may enjoy. Yet, she is not happy. The ACS wants to leave the department and has told the higher-ups in the government to shift him from there. The ACS wants the PS to remain in the department. Besides not being on good terms with any officers, she is averse to taking decisions. She was removed from two departments, for her relations with the ministers of those departments had curdled. The fact that she may create further troubles, the government avoids giving her independent charge of any wing.
A snowball of problems has piled up for an IAS officer. The feedback, a few powerful people in the Centre have gathered on the officer, does not augur well for him. The Sahib often goes to Delhi for his work. Some influential people in the government have come to know of his secret activities in a hotel in Delhi. They know that his female friend often meets him there. The Central Government has also come to know about his other devious activities. The officer is getting ready to set up a business near the national capital. Many people are meeting him for this. The higher-ups in the government are keeping an eye on the officer. Although he maintains a low profile public, he has made a lot of money through deceitful dealings. He may be in the soup this time, since the investigation agencies are monitoring his activities.
The anxiety of a powerful minister has grown. It so happened after the newly appointed principal secretary (PS) of the department at the first meeting with the minister made it clear that he would not do anything which may cause trouble to the government. But the minister wants to get a huge amount of sweetener through a contractor before the election and wants the PS to do something out of the way to help him. The officer has clearly told the minister that as long as he is in the department, he will go by the rule book. The PS is acquainted with the functioning of the department, for it is his second coming to this place. The officer, who previously worked in the department, was also upright, but the present PS’s posting has made the minister more fretful than he was. The engineer of the department, through whom the minister is doing backhand dealings, is also scared. The engineer thinks if his misdeeds come to light, the PS will harass him to the hilt.
The rules made by a female IAS officer of an important position have become a cause of concern for those working with her. The office the officer heads often faces an emergency-like situation, since people’s representatives interfere in its day-to-day functioning. Apart from that, her rules get the officials het up. One of her rules is that nobody should disturb her on Saturdays, Sundays and on other holidays. For this reason, many a time the officers working in the office have to cut a sorry figure. They are facing the double whammy of work pressure and their boss’s wayward rules. The officer has some other rules, too. She takes a fortnight to read and understand a file. If the officers call her up when she is at home, they are in trouble, because they get a dressing-down from her. She also makes a lot of queries before signing any file. Her way of working has slowed down many projects of the department, but she is not ready to change her style of functioning. The officer tells her subordinates that the government can at the most transfer her, but that hardly makes any difference.
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