The two pillars of governance in the country — the IAS and the IPS — are heading for a face-off over the contentious recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) that had upset all sections of central services.
Even as a Group of Secretaries (GOS) is giving final touches to its report on the CPC recommendations, the IPS cadre of about 4,000 that controls 2.2 million police personnel in the country are gearing up for a fight to the finish. They are demanding constitutional parity with their big brothers — the IAS. The top cops are busy networking — both with the key decision-makers, including chief ministers, governors and members of Parliament.
And so far their networking has paid dividends. One, the tech-savvy cops have used the Internet to consult, communicate and consolidate as never before. Second, they have mobilised support even from unexpected quarters.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is among the dozen odd chief ministers to have sent support letters to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the Home Minister. Mayawati in her letter to the PM has unequivocally stated that the service conditions of all-India services should remain the same. Other chief ministers who have also espoused their demand are from Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh to name a few. Almost every MP has written a letter of support.
Strategically, the state IPS associations met chief ministers, governors and MPs of their respective areas with their statistics-based representations explaining their demand for parity while their central body met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and some central ministers. Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was the first to come out in their support.
The GBM had passed a resolution demanding the Prime Minister to set up a Group of Ministers to examine all grievances pertaining to the police, recognise the role of the police in national security and the development considering all its intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions and take cognisance of the sacrifices and hardships undergone by the police and grant rightful dignity to the service and initiate congruent process of rectification on the recommendations of the sixth CPC.