Captain Mannivannan (in centre) has received support and criticism
Captain Mannivannan (in centre) has received support and criticism
Twitter: Poornima Shetty

The Karnataka government on Monday transferred Principal Secretary to Labour and Information and Public Relations Department Captain Manivannan P with immediate effect and posted in his place IAS officer M Maheshwar Rao. The government, in a notification, said Rao, Principal Secretary to government, Commerce and Industries Department (MSME & Mines), is placed in the concurrent charge of the post of Principal Secretary to government, Labour Department, with immediate effect.

The notification does not specify any posting for Manivannan yet. He has been handling labour issues concerning lockdown and COVID-19 response and awareness through DIPR.

Why was he transferred? Reports are doing the rounds that Manivannan was transferred for ‘speaking up the rights of workers’, going against a powerful lobby of industrialists who want to emulate the UP model. A News 18 report stated that a lobby even wrote to Karnataka CM ‘seeking change in leadership’, claiming he was ‘instigating workers’ to lodge complaints against their employers.

Earlier, the IAS officer had clashed with Twitterati and many had called him ‘arrogant’.

A vocal Twitter user, the IAS officer had once told someone told a Twitter user to focus on business, saying ‘policy making was his dharma’.

Mannivannan had put up a form asking workers to lodge complaints against employers, which had angered a host of users.

Soon after his ouster, several users started trending #BringBackCaptain.

On the other hand, a report in Bangalore Mirror stated that it was due to 'ineffective distribution of food grains and packets. The report states a CMO officer stating if 'they were given enough ration and food, why would they complain about not getting food'.

Thousands of labourers ostensibly complained about neither getting ration kits or food packets.

Meanwhile, the report named unnamed sources who said Yediurappa had assured him of a good posting.

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