Overheard In Bhopal: Stories Of Transitions, Turmoil, And Tenacity

Overheard In Bhopal: Stories Of Transitions, Turmoil, And Tenacity

No sooner had the higher-ups come to know of it than they removed Sahib from the position.

NITENDRA SHARMAUpdated: Sunday, March 17, 2024, 11:56 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh):

Unceremonious exit

The way the head of a legal body had to exit may have surprised many officers in the state administration, but it made most of them happy. Many officers were pleased with the removal of the person holding that post. It is heard that Sahib spared no effort to stay on the post. His sudden departure has spawned many stories, which people are still relating to one another in the corridors of power.

A correct decision made by the Chief Minister shocked  Sahib. Afterwards, he began to take the government to task. No sooner had the higher-ups come to know of it than they removed Sahib from the position. There had been discussions for a few days about the person who was to be appointed to the post. As soon as the previous head of the legal body began to roast the government, the person concerned about whom the discussions were on was appointed. The government initiated some steps after the appointment to keep the previous Sahib away from taking any legal action.  

Principled PS

A Principal Secretary (PS)-rank officer is not happy even after being shifted to an important department. The PS considered upright does not agree with many decisions of the higher-ups. Files from many other departments come to the Principal Secretary. But he has expressed himself against many decisions. His main problem is that a female officer, holding an important position, does not understand the functioning of his department. So, the officer does not support the PS. Rather than backing the PS, she tells him to find a way out to handle the cases. Because the officer has little understanding of the department’s functioning, the PS is unhappy. The PS’s opposition to certain decisions has little significance, however. The PS who loves to work according to rules may submit an application for going to Delhi after the Lok Sabha election.  

Breaking records 

A woman principal secretary (PS) has set a record of staying in a department for more than five years. No other officer has so far remained in the department for such a long time. The PS was transferred to the department before 2018. During her stay in the department, the Congress had formed the government that divested her of one responsibility, but the charge of the department, where she is working now, has been with her since 2018. The Congress government lost power, and the BJP took the helm of the state in 2020. After coming to power the BJP government shifted all officers from their respective departments – but for the PS. After the recent assembly election and the formation of the new government, many officers were transferred, but the Madam was spared again. Now, there are reports that the PS wants transfer from her present department, but the government is averse to appreciating her demand. 


Expressing emotions

A Principal Secretary (PS), who has recently been sent to the loop line from the mainstream administration, is expressing his feelings through social media. The officer used to post something or the other on social media. But now, he attempts to show that getting any department – whether important or unimportant – is of little significance to him. His latest post has but limned his pains.

The PS barely expected that he would be shunted out of the previous department. At a meeting, the Chief Minister got angry with the PS who found his name on the transfer list released afterwards. The PS, who has always enjoyed posting in important departments, is not happy with his present place of work, which he feels is insignificant. There are possibilities of many changes after the Lok Sabha election, so the PS may get a department up to his satisfaction.

Rate list 

The collector of an important district has a fixed rate list for underhand deals. The collector hardly does anything without sweetener. He is so hungry for money that he has engaged two agents to work for him. Immediately after anyone meets the Sahib for some work, the person concerned gets a call from one of the two agents. The person gets info about the rates, and if he agrees with the rates, his work is done. Sahib has also kept the politicians in the district happy, and whatever they want the collector to do, he does it with a smiling face.

Yet Sahib never forgets to take his share of carrots from the work done for the politicians. As he is always interested in making offstage deals, his posting in the district surprised everyone. Sahib was trying hard to become a collector, but the previous government gave him a wide berth. As soon as the government was changed, he got an opportunity. Now, he is pulling out all the stops to make as much lucre as possible – perhaps to feed his next generation!

Minister, officer spar 

The relations between a minister and an officer of a department have gone sour. Instead of doing any work, the minister seems more interested in giving lectures to the officers. At a meeting, when the minister was preaching to the officers, one of them said, “As your government has been ruling the state for a long time, it is responsible for the irregularities taking place in the department.” The officer’s statement hurt the minister. There are reports that after the incident, the officer avoids attending the meetings held by the minister who is also disparaging the officer. To get rid of him, the minister wants to shift the officer from the department, but the higher-ups in the government are not listening to the minister. The employees fed up with the regular spars between the minister and the officer are forced to please both of them.

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