Dog-walking row: Maneka Gandhi says allegations against IAS officer wrong, transfer Delhi's loss
BJP MP Maneka Gandhi criticised the Union home ministry's action against IAS couple Sanjeev Khirwar and Rinku Dugga and said the allegation against them of abusing their power is false. "I know Sanjeev Khirwar very well. The allegations against him are false," the Sultanpur MP and animal rights activist said. Also Read: 'IAS couple shunted to distant places because...': Anurag Thakur slams Delhi govt over dog-walking row
Terming the transfer of the IAS couple, which is being seen as 'punishment posting', Maneka Gandhi said Sanjeev Khirwar's transfer from Delhi is Delhi's loss. "When Khirwar was secretary of the environment department, Delhi benefited from his work. The action against him is completely wrong," Maneka Gandhi said.
Prompt action followed after it was reported that the IAS couple forced Thyagraj stadium close at 7pm, earlier than usual, so that they could walk their dog. On the very same day, it was reported, the Union home ministry posted Sanjeev Khirwar to Ladakh and Rinku Dugga to Arunachal Pradesh.
Both the abuse of the power by the IAS couple and the consequent 'punishment posting' triggered controversies as many politicians including Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra, former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah raised questions over this 'punishment posting'. While Omar Abdullah said getting transferred to Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh should not be seen as punishment, Mahua Moitra said why Ladakh and Arunachal were chosen to dump these 'errant officers'. Now, Maneka Gandhi too raised the issue and said apart from the action taken against them being absolutely wrong, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh are not places for 'punishment posting'.
"These places also need good officials. People go there happily," Maneka Gandhi said.
Union minister Anurag Thakur on Saturday said the IAS couple were transferred to distant places immediately after the misuse of the stadium was reported to send a strong message that stadiums are for sportspersons. "There should be no political interference," the minister said.