Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Tamil Nadu's MK Stalin on Sunday joined the growing list of Chief Ministers who have opposed the central government's proposed amendments to the IAS Cadre Rules.
Amendments to the IAS Cadre Rules proposed by the Centre, 'strikes at the very root' of the nation's federal polity and state autonomy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday and urged him to drop the move.
Expressing deep concern about the draft amendments proposed by union government, Stalin strongly objected to it. The amendment proposal, "strikes at the very root of our federal polity and state autonomy." If implemented, the proposed amendments would cause irreparable damage to the spirit of cooperative federalism that exist between union and the states and lead to concentration of powers in the union government, Stalin said in a letter to PM Modi.
"I would also like to highlight the fact that many of the state governments are also woefully short of officers at specific seniorities, primarily due to the wrong cadre management policies followed by the union government." While the union is availing the common pool from Group-I officers at the national level, the state governments solely depend on the limited pool of IAS officers available in the State.
Even, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to drop the proposed amendments to the Indian Administrative Service Cadre Rules as it would "weaken cooperative federalism".
He added that the proposed amendments in Deputation Rules of All India Services will induce fear and hesitancy among IAS Officers in implementing policies of state governments of parties politically opposed to ruling party at Centre.
"Proposed amendments in Deputation Rules of All India Services will induce fear & hesitancy among AIS Officers in implementing policies of State Govts. of parties politically opposed to ruling party at Centre. It'll weaken cooperative federalism; may be dropped. Wrote to Hon. PM," tweeted Vijayan.
Meanwhile, Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have written to the Prime Minister and urged him to roll back the decision, claiming that the change in the rules for central deputation of IAS officers will affect the states' administration.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written two letters to the Centre. In her second letter she says, "I find the revised amendment proposal more draconian than the former, and indeed its very grain is against the foundations of our great federal polity and the basic structure of India's Constitutional scheme.
"The moot point of the further revised draft amendment proposal is that an officer, whom the Central government may choose to take out of a state to any part of the country without taking his/her consent and without the agreement of the state government under whom he or she is serving, may now stand released from his/her current assignment forthwith," Banerjee said.
The states say that the power proposed to be usurped by the Central government by resorting to over-centralisation of powers is going to destroy the morale and freedom of the All-India Service officers.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren too wrote to the Prime Minister expressing his concern. He said, "I have written to @PMOIndia expressing strong reservations on the proposed All India Services cadre rule amendments by Govt of India. They promote 'unilateralism' rather than 'cooperative federalism'. I hope he will consider my request and bury the proposal at this stage itself."
The Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel have also written letters to the Prime Minister opposing the move.
The government has defended the move and has stated that working with the Centre and state governments both will broaden officers' perspectives and will advance the mission of the all-India services.
He stated that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers cannot always be posted in states since it is inefficient for both the service and the officers. It has said that working with the Central government provides them with a unique viewpoint for the personal development of officers after serving in the states and then returning to the Centre.
The Centre has proposed an amendment to the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954, which would enable it to post IAS officers on central deputation, bypassing reservations of state governments.
(With inputs from Agencies)