Who cares for rules when rulers are there!
AT A time when the Centre, on the initiative of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is ready with the Public Services Bill-2006 to enforce a strict code of conduct for bureaucrats, the UP-based civil servants seem to be too keen to please their political bosses, even if it is in gross violation of the All India Services (conduct) Rules-1968.india Updated: Aug 31, 2006 01:41 IST
AT A time when the Centre, on the initiative of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is ready with the Public Services Bill-2006 to enforce a strict code of conduct for bureaucrats, the UP-based civil servants seem to be too keen to please their political bosses, even if it is in gross violation of the All India Services (conduct) Rules-1968.
Participation of senior bureaucrats, including chief secretary NC Bajpai and DGP Bua Singh, in a daylong celebration of Mulayam’s three years in power at the Samajwadi Party office here yesterday has come as a shock to various present and former members of the elite service. Many of them dubbed the Bajlai’s address to SP workers as unprecedented. They said the incident of chief secretary praising the achievements of the Samajwadi Party-led Government and the Chief Minister was “height of sycophancy”.
Talking to Hindustan Times, former UP Governor and a retired bureaucrat Romesh Bhandari said that the bureaucrats now behaved as per the desire of their political masters and it was now up to the State Government to decide whether presence of bureaucrats at a purely political function was justified or not.
“No bureaucrat could dare to violate the code of conduct unless he was sure that his political masters were there to protect his interests, Bhandari said adding that such a behaviour of bureaucrats that too in public could not be justified by any yardstick.
“Participation by bureaucrats in a purely political function and addressing workers of any political party that too to highlight the so-called achievements of the Government is not warranted”, observed former DG of the BSF and ex-DGP of the state Prakash Singh. He said the line between administration and politics was getting blurred and such incidents are manifestation of it. It was against the conduct rules but then who would take action against the guilty bureaucrats, he asked.
Former UP Chief Secretary TRS Subramanium, however, refused to comment saying, “anything is possible in UP”.
A secretary-level IAS officer, who is on a deputation to Centre, however, asked, what is wrong about it? Politicians and bureaucrats have been ‘helping’ each other in all possible ways for a long time as it served the purpose of both. “We have allowed the system to go to the dogs and the politician-bureaucrat nexus is not new in the state”.
A young IAS officer posted here told this scribe on the condition of anonymity that presence of bureaucrats could be justified if they were ‘formally and officially’ invited by the Chief Minister while his colleague said that it all depended on the personal views of an officer.
Expressing surprise over the incident and strongly condemning it, former UP DGP Sriram Arun said that cases of bureaucrats indulging in political activities had been on the rise for obvious reasons.
Former DGP MC Dwivedi said whether bureaucrats’ presence in the function could not be justified irrespective of the fact whether they went out of compulsion or on their own. He termed it a blow to the “whatever system we had.”
Rule Number 5 (1) of the All India Services (conduct) Rules-1968 says no member of the services shall be a member of or be otherwise associated with, any political party or any organisation which takes part in politics, nor shall he takes part in, or subscribe in aid of, or assist in any other manner, any political movement or political activity.