Just ahead of the five state assembly elections and less than a year before the Lok Sabha elections, thanks to a letter by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has resurrected an issue that has so far only embarrassed the Congress.
In the four-page letter, Kharge sought to put the Centre in discomfiture over the alleged misuse of bureaucrats and Indian soldiers. However, the move has boomeranged with BJP president JP Nadda responding to it, without naming him, but clearly referring to former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s 1987 vacation to Lakshadweep using warship INS Viraat.
For the Modi Govt, all agencies, institutions, arms, wings, and departments of the government are now officially ‘Pracharaks’ ! 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… pic.twitter.com/t9hq0N4Ro4
— Mallikarjun Kharge (@kharge) October 22, 2023
Kharge, in his letter to the Prime Minister, has criticised a government order regarding a “yatra” involving senior bureaucrats to be organised across India to showcase the Centre’s achievements of the past nine years, calling it “gross misuse of government machinery”. In the letter, Kharge also hit out at the Modi government over an earlier order of the Defence Ministry, directing soldiers on annual leave to spend time to promote government schemes.
“In both the cases, of civil servants and soldiers, it is essential that government machinery is kept out of politics, especially so in the months leading up to an election,” he wrote.
Congress’s media department head Jairam Ramesh latched onto it, asking “civil servants and soldiers, who must at all times, be kept independent and non-political”.
Earlier, Congress leader Pawan Khera, on October 18, criticised a letter talking about senior bureaucrats acting as “rath prabhari” (special officers) in each of the 765 districts in the country, covering 2.69 lakh gram panchayats.
In a bid to corner the government, Kharge wrote, “All agencies, institutions, arms, wings, and departments are now officially ‘pracharaks’….In view of protecting our democracy and our Constitution, it is imperative that the…orders are withdrawn immediately.”
BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya immediately defended the government orders saying, “Who said bureaucrats in GoI are not meant to talk about the programmes and schemes implemented? Should they just sit in offices and not be on the ground to assess impact? Bureaucrats are duty-bound to serve the people, as the elected government deems fit.”
Who said bureaucrats in GoI are not meant to talk about the programs and schemes implemented? Should they just sit in offices and not be on the ground to assess impact? Bureaucrats are duty bound to serve the people, as the elected Govt deems fit. Just because five states are… https://t.co/GK7RV134I3
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) October 21, 2023
Malviya added that PM Modi wants complete saturation of welfare schemes such as the PM Awas Yojana (Grameen), National Rural Livelihood Mission, and PM Kisan, among others.
With inputs from News18