A Plan panel advisor, who has been accused of meddling too much in the affairs of the road ministry, prompting 14 chief engineers to resign, has defended his role, saying that it was his "duty" to raise red flags on financially wasteful practices.
The engineers had on Wednesday submitted their resignation to road secretary AK Upadhyay. They had cited "humiliation" by Gajendra Haldea, advisor (infrastructure) to plan panel deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, behind the move.
On Thursday, the stalemate continued with Upadhyaya failing to take any decision. "It's nothing. Difference of opinion happens everywhere. It's like a family matter," he said.
However, the engineers reiterated their stand. "None of us have withdrawn our resignation. We have sought voluntary retirement," said one such official who did not want to be quoted.
Meanwhile, Haldea — the bureaucrat in the eye of storm — attended a meeting on Thursday also. "All is well…I do not come here on my own to give opinion on ministerial issues. I am invited," he told HT.
Expressing ignorance over the mass resignation, he said, "I am not aware. My role is consistent with the government's effort to eliminate corruption and increase transparency."