ndsharma's blog

IAS officers go to BJP office — so what?

Posted on: September 9, 2014

The Congress in Madhya Pradesh wants disciplinary action against two IAS officers who went to the BJP office for briefing the ruling party leaders about organising the month-long ‘Krishi Mahotsava’ in the State. A party delegation led by PCC chief Arun Yadav submitted a memorandum to Chief Secretary Anthony De Sa and demanded action against Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Rajesh Rajora and Secretary to Chief Minister S K Mishra for violating the Service Conduct Rules. Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Satyadev Katare wanted to know if the two IAS officers would also come to the PCC to brief the Congress leaders.
Arun Yadav also complained to the President of India as well as the Union Ministry of Personnel.
This is not the first time that the serving officers have violated the Service Conduct Rules (mostly when the BJP is the ruling party) but the Congress has never taken up the issue with the seriousness required in such cases. During the BJP-led NDA government of Atal Behari Vajpayee, then Chief of Army Staff V P Malik went to the BJP office in Delhi to brief the party leaders on the border situation. This was a much more serious matter than two IAS officers going to the Bhopal office of BJP but the Congress did not protest.
Manoj shrivastava, once a blue eyed boy of Congress chief minister Digvijaya Singh, endeared himself to the Sangh Parivar leaders and became a prominent member of the unofficial think-tank of the BJP. To please the Parivar, Shrivastava even tried to project late RSS chief M S Golwalkar as a freedom fighter. A piece of “historical research” that appeared in “Madhya Pradesh Sandesh” of January 2010 said: In all, 41 Freedom Fighters were detained in the Seoni jail during different periods. While 40 of them were confined between 1931 and 1945, “Shri Sadashiv Golwalkar (Guruji)” was detained there from January 10, 1949 to June 6, 1949, according to the article. The article gave to Guruji the third place among the “immortal Freedom Fighters”, after only Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Acharya Vinoba Bhave. Ravi Shankar Shukla, H.V.Kamath, Seth Govind Das, M.V.Abhyankar, Kaka Kalelkar, Vamanrao Joshi, Madhav Shri Hari Ane, P.K.Deshmukh and others come only afterwards.
“Madhya Pradesh Sandesh” is the official monthly of the Madhya Pradesh government and Manoj Shrivastava was Commissioner of Public Relations and editor of “Sandesh” at the time. He took keen interest in what should or should not appear in the magazine.
This historical blunder, however, created such a furore (though not by Congress) that the magazine had to carry in the next issue a “correction” stating that the name of then RSS chief Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (Guruji) was included in the list of eminent freedom fighters “by mistake”.
Then Leader of Opposition in the Assembly (late) Jamuna Devi had complained to the Union Ministry of Personnel against Manoj Shrivastava’s working like a BJP activist rather than an IAS officer. Suresh Pachauri was in charge of the Department of Personnel as Minister of State. Jamuna Devi was hoping that Pachauri would initiate action against Shrivastava but he did not. Had the Union Government even issued a show cause notice to the erring IAS officer, Rajora and Mishra would have thought twice before going to the BJP office in Bhopal.


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September 2014
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