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Even BJP ministers’ wives will be transferred under Transfer Act: Pant

Nobody is above the law which is applicable to all, cabinet minister Prakash Pant said on Sunday rebutting allegations of the Congress that some BJP leaders’ wives teaching in schools were given postings in accessible areas in open violation of the Transfer Act

dehradun Updated: Jul 01, 2018 22:43 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand News
Finance minister Prakash Pant said that all state employees including the wives of politicians belonging to the ruling BJP will be treated equal before the law.(HT)

Nobody is above the law which is applicable to all, cabinet minister Prakash Pant said on Sunday rebutting allegations of the Congress that some BJP leaders’ wives teaching in schools were given postings in accessible areas in open violation of the Transfer Act.

The opposition party levelled the allegations following the suspension order chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat issued against a primary school principal following a spat with her at Janata Darbar held at his residence on Thursday.

The spat triggered after Uttara Pant Bahuguna requested the chief minister for a transfer to Dehradun, a sugam (accessible) area from Jeyestwari, a remote hilly area in Uttarkashi district, where she is currently posted.

The 57-year-old made the request on the ground that she has served in remote hill areas for the past 25 years and being a widow needed to shift to Dehradun to look after her children.

Quick to cash on the issue, Congress leaders came out openly in favour of the widowed principal justifying her demand that she be transferred from the remote area to Dehradun.

“Her demand is justified considering the fact that wives of most politicians of the ruling BJP and its ministers teaching in schools have been posted in sugam (accessible) areas despite being originally from the hill cadre (read remote areas),” said Congress leader Surendra Kumar.

He said the CM’s wife is posted in Ajabpur Kalan, an accessible area in (Dehradun) for the past 22 years.

“Similarly, the wife of cabinet minister Pant is attached to a school in Dehradun. So is the case with Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni whose wife is attached in Delhi,” Kumar said, adding that no different was the case of state BJP vice-president Jyoti Prasad Gairola’s wife.

“Incidentally, the wives of these ruling party politicians originally belong to the cadres of hill districts, but were transferred to the accessible areas in violation of rules,” Kumar said.

Finance minister Pant strongly refuted the allegations asserting that all state employees including the wives of politicians belonging to the ruling BJP will be treated equal before the law.

“They will be transferred from durgam (remote) to sugam (accessible) areas and vice versa as per the provisions of the recently enforced Transer Act depending on how much time they spent in those areas,” he said.

In that connection, Pant said the periods of service spent by state employees in ‘sugam’ and ‘durgam’ areas are being calculated.

“Accordingly, all of them including the relatives or wives of the politicians belonging to the ruling party or its ministers will be transferred,” he said.

Pant said barring a few exceptions, wives of the ruling party politicians were given postings in accessible areas, strictly in keeping with the law.

Referring to the CM’s wife, Sunita, he said, she quit her Pauri district cadre and opted for the Dehradun district cadre way back in 1996.

“She was given the posting in the accessible area (Dehradun) also because she chose to forego her promotion, which is a precondition for change of cadres.”

Referring to primary school principal Bahuguna, the minister said she can’t be transferred to Dehradun, an accessible area, because she has already availed a promotion.

“Besides, legally, employees are given a chance to change their cadres only once during their service periods, which she (Bahuguna) did not avail,” he said.

“She can’t avail that one time opportunity now as she has already got promoted from a teacher to a principal.”

About his wife’s case, Pant said, she originally belongs to the Pithoragarh district cadre and was attached in Dehradun after having served in remote areas for eight years. “She was shifted four years ago under the Congress rule,” he said.

First Published: Jul 01, 2018 22:43 IST