The Uttar Pradesh government has yet to find staff that is “willing” to work under Azam Khan, said a minister in the Akhilesh Yadav-led cabinet. On October 28, seven personal staffers of the minister, all from secretariat service cadre, refused to work with him, alleging that Khan routinely abused them.
Since then, the minister has been working with borrowed staff. For the past 15 days, the government has just been able to locate a personal secretary and an additional personal secretary to work under Khan and even the chosen ones are yet to join.
Two other names have also been shortlisted but the government wants to take clearance from Khan before posting the new staff. As one of the employees said, “Everybody is scared of Khan as he is quite wayward with his tongue and always suspects you.”
Khan had two personal secretaries and five additional personal secretaries before October 28. The seven employees had written to Khan and some senior officers stating the reasons for taking the extreme step.
The employees claim the minister had crossed all limits of decency and frequently lost his cool over minor issues and regularly abused them. The state government has served a charge sheet on the seven employees who protested against Khan.
An inquiry into the entire episode has been ordered even as those seven employees have been allowed to join the central pool of the secretariat administration department (SAD).
Some of the employees’ unions like the additional private secretary (APS) union, which initially had backed the protesting employees and announced that no personal secretary and APS would be allowed to be posted under Khan, have sobered down since it became clear that the chief minister’s office as well as senior bureaucrats were very upset with the issue.
But many other associations are still backing the seven, many of whom were handpicked by Khan.