As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationwide cleanliness programme Swachh Bharat, Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao is set to administer the Swachhata Shapath (cleanliness pledge) to the staff and officials of Mantralaya on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on Thursday. Gandhi Jayanti is a public holiday, including for Mantralaya officials.
Rao’s official entry into Mantralaya, his first after he took charge as the state’s Governor on August 30, will also coincide with the clean-up exercise that is already in progress at Mantralaya, with ministers and officials of the outgoing Congress-NCP government removing their name plates and carrying their files.
“All former ministers were asked to vacate their offices by Monday evening and move out of their official residences in 15 days. More time would be given if the ministers request for the same. This is the general protocol,” said K P Bakshi, additional chief secretary at the General Administration Department (GAD).
Across central government offices, including railways, officials have been preparing to undertake activities as part of the Swachh Bharat campaign.
“The Governor of Maharashtra C Vidyasagar Rao will administer the Swachhata Shapath (cleanliness pledge) to the staff and officers of Mantralaya in the Mantralaya premises on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti at 9.45 am on October 2. The pledge is being given as a part of the Swachh Bharat campaign,” read the press release from Raj Bhavan.
According to Raj Bhavan officials, this will be “the first time in many years that a governor visits Mantralaya for such an event”.
The President’s rule was imposed in Maharashtra on September 28, days after the Congress-NCP alliance ended last week.
Meanwhile, in Mantralaya, piles of papers littered the corridors on Wednesday even as government employees sat outside their offices tearing up “unwanted paper work”. Large bags filled with documents occupied spaces outside offices on almost all floors of the building. This “clean-up” drive, according to the government employees, was of the “unwanted paperwork” in ministers’ offices which needed to be discarded after the imposition of President’s rule.
“The papers that are being torn and disposed are mostly letters and requests forwarded to ministers which are no longer required as the new government will take over after October 19,” said a GAD official.
The nameplates outside the officers of ministers had already been removed by Wednesday. “This exercise was supposed to be over by Wednesday morning. But some officials asked us for more time because of the huge paper work. We have granted them more time after which these offices will be sealed,” Bakshi said.
An official from Raj Bhavan refused to comment on the clearing of files in Mantralaya.