Thursday , 29 February 2024
Thursday , 29 February 2024

Thanks to AAP, Punjab bureaucracy is in tatters

  • 24 Nov, 2023

The Rising Panjab Bureau

The bureaucracy in Punjab has never had it so low in the recent past as it is experiencing ever since the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government has come to rule the state.  Many senior bureaucrats feel that the AAP government has been acting out of "grave sense of insecurity and uncertainty" following which there has been a sense of indifference among them. There is said to be a general feeling that all strings for the bureaucrats are being pulled from the Kejriwal camp in Delhi. Apparently none of the Punjab AAP leaders is consulted or taken into confidence for it.  One of the crudest tools used by the AAP government in Punjab has been to keep an officer waiting for his or her next posting after removal from an office.

As it is the 1994 batch IAS officer DK Tiwari is one of the victims of this ploy as he has been awaiting posting orders for the last two months. Initially, he was suspended from the service without any inquiry after the Punjab and Haryana High Court had declined to dissolve the panchayat bodies for the next elections. Tiwari, incidentally, was abroad when he was suspended. Though there has been no questions on the way he was suspended but even after restoration of his services he remains without posting.  

Similar has been the fate of another IAS officer, Gurpreet Khaira, who was suspended along with Tiwari without any initial probe.  The 1999 batch IAS officer Ajoy Sharma had his taste of the present governance when he was removed from the Health Department for questioning the Bhagwant Mann government's decision on releasing funds for Aam Aadmi clinics.  He remained without posting for three months before getting reinstated in the Local Bodies department from where he was again moved to the Health department as a secretary.

At present two IAS officers, Amit Talwar and Nielesh S. Avadh have been also awaiting their posting orders for quite some time now.

"This is the AAP government's way to tell the bureaucracy to fall in line," said a senior bureaucrat adding that while an IAS officer has nothing much to lose in the process but it is the state which suffers due to "incompetent and inefficient" governance of the incumbent government.

It all started the way Anirudh Tiwari was removed from the office of the chief secretary within days of the AAP government taking over power in 2022. Many bureaucrats had then questioned the credentials of his successor VK Janjua but for the AAP government he was a comfortable choice. Later when the 1993 batch IAS officer Anurag Verma was appointed the chief secretary he superseded 13 IAS officers senior to him sending shock waves across the bureaucracy.

Similar has been the fate of the state IPS officers who failed to fall in line.  An outstanding example of it has been the way VK Bhanwra was removed as the state DGP because he declined to toe the line of the AAP government. He has filed a case in CAT to question about the manner he was removed after approval from the UPSC.  In his place the office of the DGP is being occupied by the 1992 IPS officer Gaurav Yadav as an acting DGP.

It has sent a big demoralising message to the IPS officers across the state. In yet another incident another senior officer PK Sinha who was heading the Prisons Department, was removed from his office and kept waiting for the next posting for more than three months.

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