Officer seeks approval for govt payment on Jan Ashirvad Yatra, gets show cause noticeCongress says charges on misuse of govt resources established again
A letter seeking approval of the Satna district collector for payment to two contractors for their work on a Jan Ashirvad Yatra programme in the district has caused a flutter in the administration. The collector concerned has issued a show cause notice to the officer asking why disciplinary action should not be initiated against him for misconduct, say official sources.
The ongoing yatra led by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was in Satna on July 18 in the run-up to the state assembly elections in November this year.
The yatra is supposed to be the BJP’s political programme but the principal Opposition Congress has been accusing the party of misusing government resources for its programme since the two-month yatra began on July 14 from Ujjain to cover all the 230 assembly constituencies in the state.
As per official sources, chief municipal officer (CMO), New Ramnagar Nagar Parishad, Satna Brahmanand Shukla in his official letter dated August 13, 2018 sought approval of the collector Satna, Mukhesh Shukla, for the payment to tune of Rs 6.95 lakh to two tent house owners in Satna saying arrangements of ‘tent shamiyana’ on the arrival of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Jan Ashirvad Yatra was made in compliance with the district administration’s order dated July 6, 2018.
As per sources, in the show cause notice served on the CMO on Thursday the collector treated the officer’s action as misconduct as, he said, the order regarding the arrangement had been already cancelled, hence his seeking approval of payment amounted to a misconduct.
Despite efforts the collector couldn’t be reached for his comments. However, the CMO concerned Brahmanand Shukla accepted that he had received a show-cause notice.
“The district administration had cancelled its order regarding the yatra but somehow it didn’t reach me. Hence, I sought the approval for the payment. The letter on cancellation of the order has been traced now and the process of payment has been stalled. We have also conveyed to the contractors concerned to contact the party which organised the yatra for the payment”, he added.
State Congress spokesperson Santosh Gautam said Congress had been claiming right from the day 1 that Jan Ashirvad Yatra was BJP’s yatra but taxpayers’ money was being used for it. Satna officer’s letter for payment had corroborated their charges once again regarding misuse of government machinery for BJP’s political programme.
He said earlier, a PWD engineer was suspended by his superiors when CM slipped from the dais of a Jan Ashirvad Yatra programme in Chhatarpur district in July last week.