Durga episode. SoniaG governance, SP’s rejoinder asking for SoniaG letters on Robert Vadra to PM

Sunday 4 August 2013

Governance at its nadir
    • The Statesman
    • 03 Aug 2013


What is abhorrent in the whole matter is the manner in which the suspension order  was  issued.  All  India  Service rules clearly state that an IAS officer can  be  suspended  only  if   charges  leveled against him/her would  finally   lead  to   major  punishment  such  as dismissal/removal from service ~ MG  DEVASAHAYAM
Durga Shakti Nagpal, a young IAS Officer, was posted as Sub-Divisional Magistrate in Gautam Buddha Nagar (NOIDA-UP) in September 2012. Within months, the case of her suspension has become the epitome of deep depravity to which governance in India in general and UP in particular has descended. Contrary to media reports and public perception that it is a matter of ‘babu vs neta’, the issue is more sinister, with far-reaching consequences to the basic tenets of secular governance.
As per reports, behind this sordid episode is the communal agenda of Samajwadi Party MLA and chairperson of the UP State Agro Industrial Corporation Limited, Narendra Bhatty, who has openly claimed that it was he who got Durga Shakti suspended that too in just 40 minutes! This man is an aspirant for the Lok Sabha seat from that constituency. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he had stood third, polling 16.05 per cent of the votes, behind the Bahujan Samaj Party and BJP, virtually neck-to-neck with the Congress candidate. Bhatty’s calculation was that if he can polarise the votes in the constituency on communal lines, he could eat into the Muslim votes that both the BSP and the Congress received the last time.
When villagers of Kadalpur pulled down the wall of a proposed mosque, on the instructions of Durga Shakti in her capacity as SDM, Bhatty let loose the suspension charade with the agenda of hitting two mangoes with one stone. First was that the ensuing fallout would help him win the Lok Sabha seat by polarizing Muslim votes. This explains the UP government’s swift instructions to suspend Durga at midnight without complying with the basic administrative requirements. By doing so, he hoped the issue would be highlighted in such a way that the ruling SP would be portrayed as protectors of the minority community. Second was that it would simultaneously remove from the scene a zealous young officer who, by all accounts, had taken on the sand mafia that operates across a large swathe of western UP.
The version of the locals is that the gram panchayat agreed to the construction of a mosque on government land a few months ago. Bhatty had come to the inauguration and even made a monetary contribution. But permission was not sought from the District Magistrate for the construction of the mosque, which is mandatory throughout the country following the Supreme Court ruling in the matter. The SDM was well within her rights to pull down the wall, but perhaps she could have given notice, as this is the month of Ramzan. But the District Magistrate’s report on the matter makes the notice superfluous. The report suggests it was unclear what religious site it was, since the construction had only just begun. Durga and other officers visited the village and told the villagers they should either seek permission for construction of a religious structure, as per the governing rules, or dismantle the illegally constructed wall. Villagers then chose to dismantle the illegal construction of their own volition. No heavy machinery was ever pressed into service to demolish any wall, as the government has suggested. The report, with inputs from the district police as well as other administrative officers, also says there was no communal tension or the possibility of any clashes between religious communities.
Even in the face of these facts the Samajwadi Party worthies appears to be leaving no stone unturned in communalising the issue: senior state minister Mohammad Azam Khan went so far as to trivialise the sand mafia issue by saying that everyone had a right to natural resources. Ram naam ki loot hai loot sako to loot (You are allowed to loot in the name of lord Ram) he said when asked to comment on the issue. Senior minister Shivpal Yadav, denying the role of the mining mafia behind Durga’s suspension, insisted: “She was suspended for demolishing the wall of a mosque at Kadalpur village in the Rabupura area without following the legal process.”
This devious conspiracy appears to be tenable because as per reliable senior civil services sources in Lucknow, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was not in the loop and all instructions were taken from the party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. Naved Siddiqui, a Samajwadi Party bigwig, let the cat out of the bag when he admitted during a NDTV debate that it was the “party that took the decision to suspend Durga Shakti and would also take action against the District Magistrate for submitting his report defending the action of the SDM”. The fact that the Chief Minister seemed to be in no mood to accept the District Magistrate’s report only gives credence to this apprehension.
What is abhorrent in the whole matter is the manner in which the suspension order was issued. All India Service rules clearly state that an IAS officer can be suspended only if charges levelled against him/her would finally lead to major punishment such as dismissal/removal from service. The explanation of the officer should have been asked for and examined before passing the suspension order. While doing so the Chief Minister should have applied his mind based on facts and come to an informed decision.
None of these appeared to have happened in the case of Durga Shakti. It was reportedly done by a coterie comprising Narendra Bhatty and Principal Secretary of UP Government’s department of appointments, Rajiv Kumar, who got the secretariat office opened on Saturday/Sunday midnight and got the orders issued at about 1.30 a.m. This shows the depth of depravation in to which governance and civil administration have descended in the country in general and UP in particular.
After doing what he has done, this principal secretary has come out with a callous statement: “As an officer of the UP government, Ms Nagpal’s reinstatement is in the hands of the state government, as the rightful disciplinary authority. As per the procedure, the government has up to 45 days in which to chargesheet her. In this case, the process may be expedited. It is the state government’s decision.” Is there any honour left in these kind of senior civil servants who have brought shame and disrepute to the IAS, meant to give fair and just administration and uphold integrity in governance?
Therein lies a tale of rot and stench in the senior echelons of the civil services. One would remember that in November 2012 the CBI court in Ghaziabad sentenced former UP chief secretary Neera Yadav and senior IAS officer Rajiv Kumar to three years’ imprisonment in the NOIDA land allotment scam that took place between 1993-95. The court also fined them Rs 1 lakh each. Yadav and Kumar later got bail from a sessions court against personal bonds of Rs 5 lakh each. The bails were on technical grounds: prison sentences of three years do not require immediate arrest. Neera Yadav had taken voluntary retirement in March 2008 itself.
Rajiv Kumar who was principal secretary, appointments, was briefly moved out of the sensitive office, put on wait-list and then came back to the same post. As expected of him, this official, who is on bail pending appeal in the Supreme Court, has done the hatchet job with precision as per the diktats of his political bosses who have given him protection. The Chief Secretary, who was on leave, had no clue as to what happened. With such a ‘kleptocratic’ pact in full operation can governance in India descend to any deeper depth? Indeed it seems to be the nadir.

The writer is a former IAS officer and author


Sonia’s letter on Durga Nagpal: SP hits back, rakes up Robert Vadra issue

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said there is widespread concern thatDurga Shakti Nagpal, the UP IAS officer has been hastily suspended for unsubstantiated reasons.
“We must ensure that the officer is not unfairly treated,” she told the Prime Minister. Nagpal had shot into limelight by acting against the sand mafia in the state.
Reacting sharply, SP leader Naresh Aggarwal, said Gandhi should write two more letters to the Prime Minister about her son-in-law Robert Vadra‘s land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan.
“Gandhi should write two more letters, one about the Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka who was suspended by the Chief Minister and another to the Rajasthan CM for suspending two IAS officers. In both the cases, the name of Robert Vadra, cropped up. These cases were related to land deals. So, she should write two more letters to PM so that justice is done in all these cases,” he said.
Khemka had hit the spotlight alleging irregularities in Vadra’s land deals in Haryana, a charge denied by the state government.
Sonia Gandhi in this file photo. PTI

Sonia Gandhi in this file photo. PTI
In the letter written by her as chairperson of National Advisory Council (NAC), Gandhi asked Singh to focus on such issues as highlighted by the present case and if there was need for bringing in more measures to protect government servants while upholding their duties.
A 2010 batch IAS officer, 28-year-old Nagpal was suspended on July 27 as Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar district, for allegedly ordering demolition of a wall of a mosque on the ground that it could have triggered communal tension.
BJP dubbed Gandhi’s letter as just wasting time, saying both the Congress and the SP are hand-in-glove.
“SP is ruling in UP and the party supports UPA at the Centre. By writing a letter to PM, Gandhi is just completing a formality because she is ruling the country with the support of SP. And, she also needs SP’s support on the Food Security Bill issue.”
“SP and the Congress are hand-in-glove. They are wasting time by writing letters. If they want to solve the issue, they can use their influence to sort it out,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister had declined to answer queries about Nagpal when reporters asked him about it after the all-party meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had replied in the negative when asked whether the issue of problems faced by an officer in a state can be raised in Parliament.
Speaking separately, Samajwadi Party MP Shailendra Kumar indicated that the issue is being resolved. “This issue is under the consideration of the state leadership. She has met the Chief Secretary. Some way will be found out….the issue is gradually being resolved.”
Gandhi’s letter has come amid growing demand for revoking the Nagpal’s suspension order.
The Centre had earlier said that it was awaiting a report from the UP government based on which it will decide the future course of action.
Congress spokesperson Sandip Dikshit dismissed Agarwal’s criticism and hailed Gandhi’s “very powerful” letter saying “it echoes the sentiments of India” and has been written “very sensitively.”
He also also rejected the SP leader’s attempt to draw parallels between Nagpal and Khemka, saying the two cases are different.
“He (Khemka) was actually transferred before all the cases of so-called reports (regarding Vadra’s land deals) came up. He was not somebody castigated and punished. “These are completely different issues. Even at that time when reports had come that Khemka was being punished, the Haryana government had come out and said that the gentleman was given a chance to present his case. There was no attempt to hide the truth in the Haryana case,” claimed Dikshit.
Seeking to differentiate the Nagpal issue with that of Khemka, he said, “How is one related to the other….In this case you have taken administrative action and penalised a person by suspending. Khemka’s case was not that.”
To questions on whether Congress was earlier shy of commenting on the issue because it needed SP votes on Food Security Bill in the coming session of Parliament, Dikshit said,”it’s not a matter of whether we want SP’s votes or not. I do not think that vote in Parliament on critical issues like food security really depends on it.”
Dikshit said that “what happened in Uttar Pradesh was symptomatic of the problem” that was continuing in the state “where people do not realise, where politics stops and where the rules, regulations, ethics and rule of law starts.”
He said the current incident was a “stark example” of that. Dikshit rejected criticism that Congress was being silent on the issue before Gandhi wrote the letter saying “all of us were saying that what was done to this lady was entirely incorrect.

About janamejayan

A Viraat Hindu dedicated to spread the message of Paramacharya of Kanchi
This entry was posted in Anti-national Congress Party, Samajwadi Party, Sonia and Mafia, The farce of Indian Secularism. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Durga episode. SoniaG governance, SP’s rejoinder asking for SoniaG letters on Robert Vadra to PM

  1. vaidya kesavaiyer says:


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