'Ordered To Do Political Propaganda: Congress Slams Centre Over Appointment Of Officers As 'Rath Prabhari'

'Ordered To Do Political Propaganda: Congress Slams Centre Over Appointment Of Officers As 'Rath Prabhari'

"How can civil servants be ordered to do political propaganda for a government going into elections? IAS officers will be 'Rath Prabharis'," Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said on X.

PTIUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 04:19 PM IST
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The Congress on Saturday accused the government of appointing officers of the ranks of joint secretary, director and deputy secretary as "rath prabhari" and wondered how could officers be used to indulge in "political propaganda".

"How can civil servants be ordered to do political propaganda for a government going into elections? IAS officers will be 'Rath Prabharis'," Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said on X.

He shared on X an order dated October 18 of the Department of Revenue in the finance ministry regarding the nomination of officers of the ranks of joint secretary, director and deputy secretary pertaining to various services to be deployed as "rath prabhari" (special officers) in each of the 765 districts in the country, covering 2.69 lakh gram panchayats.

"This is Narendra's Another Megalomaniac Order," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X, while sharing Khera's post and hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The order mentioned an internal order of the agriculture secretary of October 14 regarding showcasing or celebrating the achievements of the last nine years of the Modi government through the "Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra" proposed to be organised across the country for disseminating information, awareness and extending services at the gram panchayat level from November 20 to January 25.

"In order to coordinate for the preparations, planning, execution, monitoring of the Rath Yatra, they have decided to deploy joint secretaries/director/deputy secretaries of Government of India as Rath Prabharis (special officer)," the order read.

Modi has set a target of six months to ensure the full saturation of his government's welfare schemes, official sources said on Saturday.

The government, they said, will launch a mega drive -- Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra -- across all 2.7 lakh panchayats in the country to reach out to the beneficiaries and enrol them.

The sources added that the exercise will begin after Diwali next month and continue for several weeks.

Specially-fitted "raths" (chariots) will reach the beneficiaries across the country, they said.

At a recent cabinet meeting, the prime minister exhorted his colleagues to work harder and ensure that the deserving beneficiaries who have still not received the benefits of welfare schemes are reached out to faster, they said.

During a meeting with top officials, Modi underlined the need to expedite the saturation of welfare schemes.

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