A week after he retired as Vigilance Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh last year, Rama Chandra Samal published a 56-page booklet, detailing his experiences in the five years he’d held the post. It proved to be dynamite.
Since then Samal has been threatened so often he has changed both his mobile and landline telephone numbers, is wary about giving them out, and prefers to stay most of the time with his son in Mumbai rather than at his home in Hyderabad.
The booklet, My Years as Vigilance Commissioner charged CM Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and three other ministers, including home minister Jana Reddy, as well as 18 IAS, IPS and IFS officers, whom Samal named, of encouraging corruption, promoting and protecting corrupt bureaucrats.
Samal’s claimed that the CM had directed the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau not to investigate any officer belonging to the central services without his approval, rendering it a toothless tiger. He called departments like Revenue, Irrigation, Transport, Agriculture, Panchayati Raj, and Rural Development dens of corruption.
“I wanted to post the names of officers proven corrupt on the Vigilance Commission’s website but the government did not allow me,” he said.
If Samal had hoped his expose would lead to any change for the better, he was sadly mistaken. Opposition parties did raise a storm, seeking the chief minister’s resignation, but the government simply dug in its heels. Home Minister Jana Reddy said Samal had lost his mental balance, chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy questioned his motives, while officers he had named threatened him with defamation suits. But Samal is unfazed. “I stand by what I wrote and will always do so,” he said.
If you know someone working towards upholding integrity in public life, nominate the person for the Manjunath Shanmugham Integrity Award.
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