Thirty-six days after finally managing to secure the transfer of Lucknow municipal commissioner NP Singh, urban development minister Azam Khan surprisingly raked up the old issue, accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders of shielding Singh and making him look like a 'hero'.
The BJP has hit back, advising Khan to concentrate on discharging his duties effectively and not to stoop low. Khan, after repeatedly targeting Singh had finally got the officer transferred on September 2.
Senior BJP MP from Lucknow Lalji Tandon after receiving complaints from the people in the state capital had written to the chief minister lamenting the fact that Lucknow never looked as bad and the transfer of an honest officer without securing his replacement had much to do with the mess that the state capital found itself in especially during the monsoon. Khan accused Lucknow mayor Dinesh Sharma of siding with the 'officer' who he claimed was unable to 'discharge his duties well.'
“The minister is free to transfer or appoint anyone. When I had written to the CM, the previous municipal commissioner had been removed and there was none to replace him.
This, when the state capital was badly impacted during monsoons. The timing of the transfer was odd as, without a municipal commissioner, the work of the municipal corporation got affected. Even today, there is no municipal commissioner,” said BJP MP Lalji Tandon when pressed for his views on Khan’s press release.
In his release, Khan has criticize the BJP’s Lucknow mayor and opposition leaders for politicising the transfer of an official with an eye on 2014 general election.
“I think if such things continue, it would not be possible to improve Lucknow,” Khan said. Tandon, who was also the urban development minister in the BJP government, responded to the press release saying, “If somebody is honest, it isn’t wrong to say so. Moreover, the larger issue is that in the absence of a municipal commissioner, Lucknow is suffering. The minister should take care of this aspect more than anything else.”