In what appears to be stepping up of confrontation of between the Raj Bhawan and Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav the Governor TV Rajeswar has asked the Uttar Pradesh IAS Association to cancel the Civil Service Week that association proposes to hold from December 14, to 17, 2006.
The Governor has asked the association to defer the week to sometime in January 2007 in view of what Raj Bhawan said his prior engagements this month.
The Governor obviously has some strong reservations over the manner in which a section of the bureaucracy has conducted itself in recent times.
Governor feels that the section of bureaucracy was working in a partisan manner and the week would provide yet another occasion to the Chief Minister for a close interaction give his message to IAS officers at the senior administrative officers conference organised as part of the civil service week.
The Governor's move is bound to have political overtones as the week may be deferred further as the state would be in poll mode by that point of time.
As Election Commission is likely to announce its election programme by that time the Model Code Conduct would come in to force and the Chief Minister may not be able to announce any sops for IAS officers.
The Chief Minister has taken strong exception to Governor's move. Chief Minister went to Raj Bhawan to lodge his protest today. Sources said Chief Minister pointed out to Governor that Raj Bhawan had little role to play in the week.
The Raj Bhawan should therefore not meddle in the internal affairs of the bureaucracy and the association, he said.
A meeting of association is likely to be held soon to consider the issue of cancellation of the civil service week. Association Secretary Sanjay Bhus Reddy said the preparations for the week were on an advanced stage.
Association would consider the issue at its executive committee meeting scheduled to take place on November 11, 2006. Association may also consider preponing the executive committee meeting to consider the issue, said another officer.
This is for the first time in recent years that the Governor has asked association after giving his consent for the traditional dinner that Raj Bhawan holds for senior IAS officers during civil service week, he said.
A senior Raj Bhawan official said Governor had prior engagements in December-2006. Governor has to address convocations of some universities and proposes to undertake a visit to certain districts.
Besides visiting Sarnath in Varanasi the Governor also proposes to visit Jhansi, Allahabad and some other districts, he said.
Whether the Governor proposes to hold a state-wide tour to make an assessment of the law and order situation and implementation of other government programmes before the announcement of Vidhan Sabha elections?
This is the million-dollar question doing rounds in the corridors of power here.