Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that the government’s recent orders asking officials to “showcase” the achievements of the last nine years was “politicisation” of the bureaucracy and demanded their withdrawal.
In his letter, Kharge objected to the government order issued on October 18 which, he claimed, stated that senior officers of ranks as high as joint secretary, director and deputy secretary are to be deployed to all 765 districts of India as “Rath Prabharis” to “showcase achievements of the last nine years of Government of India”.
He also referred to another order of the Ministry of Defence on October 9, 2023, directing soldiers on annual leave to spend time in promoting government schemes, making them “soldier-ambassadors”.
“It is no coincidence that the last nine years correspond to your tenure in office. This is of grave concern for multiple reasons,” Kharge said, alleging that senior officers are being deputed for “marketing activity” of the incumbent government.
“It is a clear violation of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, which directs that no government servant shall take part in any political activity.
“While it is acceptable for government officers to disseminate information, to make them ‘celebrate’ and ‘showcase’ achievements blatantly turns them into political workers of the ruling party.
“The fact that only ‘achievements’ of the last nine years are being considered, gives away the fact that this is a transparently political order in the run-up to the five state elections and the general elections of 2024,” the Congress chief alleged.
He said if senior officers of departments are being deputed for “marketing activity” of the current government, the governance of the country will grind to a halt for the next six months.
“In view of protecting our democracy and our Constitution, it is imperative that the above orders are withdrawn immediately,” Kharge told the prime minister.
“For the Modi Government, all agencies, institutions, arms, wings, and departments of the government are now officially ‘Pracharaks’,” he alleged in a post on X.
“In view of protecting our democracy and our Constitution, it is imperative that the orders which would lead to the politicising of Bureaucracy and our Armed Forces must be withdrawn immediately,” Kharge also said in his post while sharing the letter.
AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh also shared the letter on X and said, “Mallikarjun Kharge-ji, Congress President, has just written to the PM on the blatant politicisation taking place of civil servants and soldiers who must, at all times, be kept independent and non-political.” Kharge, who is also the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said he is writing on a matter of great public importance which is of concern not just to the INDIA parties but also to people at large.
With inputs from News18