Home min interfering: Modi to PM
The Centre-BJP faceoff over the Gujarat government’s action against senior police officers became more pronounced on Saturday. HT reports.india Updated: Aug 14, 2011 02:25 IST
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Saturday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's direct intervention to stop what he called "blatant interference" from Union ministers, especially home minister P Chidambaram, encouraging indiscipline among some delinquent police officers of Gujarat cadre.
In a letter to Prime Minister, Modi said that the home minister on Friday made statement regarding some delinquent police officers of Gujarat Cadre. This is the second time that Union home minister has intervened in favour of such police officers and thus encouraging indiscipline.
Some other senior Union ministers have also made similar statement before the media, Modi said, referring to their defence of Gujarat cadre-IPS officers, Sanjeev Bhatt and Rahul Sharma.
These statements are strictly against the centre-state relationship protocol and a dangerous threat to the federal set up of Indian governance.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, he said that when the Union government comes out in open supporting such indisciplined conduct of an All India Service officers then it should be a matter of concern for the entire nation.
In other words, one is indirectly encouraging the political activities by service officers. Such blatant interference from Central government will destroy the very fabric of federal structure, he said.
"Looking at the series of such incidents during last two years, I regret to bring to your notice that there seems to be a definite pattern of conspiracy in meddling with Gujarat's affairs. Such selective interference is a cause for major concern, as it goes against constitutional principles. Unfortunately, it appears that UPA government at the Centre is a party to these activities, in one way or other, with a strong hidden agenda to destabilise a progressive and performing state like Gujarat. I firmly believe that you cannot build a strong India by destabilising and weakening progressive and development oriented states in a federal structure. At any cost,we should not convert these constitutional arms as political battle-fields by misusing them," Modi said.
Modi said Chidambaram has stated that "Rules do provide for the Central government to take certain step at certain stage. But, it all depends on the concerned officers to invoke the situation".
According to Modi, the All India Service Act and Rules framed there-under are very clear and this matter concerning the officers being quoted falls under that.
These officers borne on the state cadre, are working in connection with the affairs of the State. Hence, as per the definition of the term "government" given in the All India Service Rules, the state government is the "government" for them in respect of disciplinary matters.
The state government is competent to take any action against them including suspension, institution of departmental inquiry and imposition of penalty.
Modi pointed to the PM that no authority, including the central government can usurp these powers. If the officers have any grievances on the issue of actions being taken by the state government, they can represent to the state government, or can take a legal recourse by approaching CAT, high court, Supreme Court, etc.
Modi "requested" the Prime Minister that these matters are required to view very seriously and appropriate instructions maybe given to the concerned authorities so that such incidents are not repeated in future, in the interest of a healthy centre-state relationship.