Uttarakhand IAS officer's wings clipped after BJP sting
1998 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer Mohammad Shahid was removed from five key positions – secretary to chief minister and secretary (excise, corruption elevation, public grievance and information departments). (HT Photo)india Updated: Jul 25, 2015 09:01 IST
Two days after an Uttarakhand IAS officer Mohammad Shahid was caught on camera while allegedly fixing a deal with a liquor trader for awarding wholesale license in state, the government finally acted and removed him from the key positions that he was holding.
Shahid was removed from five key positions – secretary to chief minister and secretary (excise, corruption elevation, public grievance and information departments).
According to an official note released on Friday evening, the official will only continue as secretary (minority welfare).
Manisha Pawar, principal secretary to CM will now look after the information department while Ranbir Singh will additionally hold excise department.
Similarly in-charge (secretary) Shailesh Bagoli will look after corruption elevation and public grievance departments.
A 1998 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer has been with chief minister Harish Rawat since latter was a cabinet minister in the UPA-II regime.
After Rawat was sworn in as CM of the hill state in early 2013, Shahid was also brought in deputation to Uttarakhand. Considered close to a Congress leader from Gujarat, the IAS officer was seen asking for money in lieu of awarding wholesale liquor trade in the hill state in a sting CD that was released by the BJP in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“Shahid himself offered to remain low profile after the recent controversy” claimed a party leader associated with CM office.
Though CM Rawat had said that he did not see anything substantial in the CD but the fact is that the CD has brought Congress on back foot - both at New Delhi and Dehradun.
Amid bureaucratic reshuffle, state home department has sent CD for forensic examination as desired by the CM.
Meanwhile the main opposition party in state BJP continued to attack CM Rawat government. Leader of opposition Ajay Bhatt said that removing IAS officer from key portfolios suggests that “what has been captured in CD is in fact true”.
The Vidhansabha speaker Govind Kunjwal however came in defence of government. Kunjwal commented that “CD has no legal sanctity as it is nearly eight months old”.
The opposition however does not believe in the theory. The BJP delegation is scheduled to call on governor KK Paul on Saturday. The party state president TS Rawat said the party wants CBI probe in the entire episode.