IAS officers Ramesh Thete and Shashi Karnawat on Saturday accused the Madhya Pradesh government of discrimination on the basis of caste, adding that they would continue their “struggle for justice”.
Thete and Karnawat were speaking at a programme at Rajiv Gandhi College, Trilanga, which was organised by the Bhopal Congress to mark the 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar. They made their remarks while participating in a discussion over Ambedkar’s role in social justice and social harmony.
Former IAS officer Sardar Singh Dungas, MP Congress Committee state president Arun Yadav, Bhopal Congress Committee president PC Sharma and secretary Sajid Khan were also present at the event, amongst others.
“I became an IAS (officer) not to help anybody in winning the election but to work according to the Constitution. I cannot touch feet in the dark hours nor can I call him ‘vikaspurush’,” Thete is reported to have said, referring to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan without taking his name.
“The state government has an unofficial agenda to spoil the image of Dalits. Even the Lokayukta is tarnishing our image to save the officers of his caste,” he added. However, the 1993 batch office, who is presently posted as secretary of the child rights commission, distanced himself from the Congress, stating that he had come to “attend the programme of Babsaheb”.
Meanwhile, Karnawat expressed her gratitude towards former PM Rajiv Gandhi for reserving seats for women in government services.
Earlier this week, Thete and Karnawat had participated in a demonstration against the MP government, a first in the administrative history of the state.
Thete was dismissed from the IAS on charges of being caught accepting a bribe in the 2002. His dismissal was set aside by the Supreme Court. Karnawat was convicted in a corruption case in September 2013. She was sent to jail but secured bail.
In December, the Chouhan government forwarded a proposal seeking permission for prosecuting Thete in a corruption case to the Union personnel ministry. Thete had then threatened to fast unto death if he were arrested.