A senior IAS officer here publicly announced his decision to convert to Islam and applied for voluntary retirement from the services alleging victimisation by Rajasthan government.
Umrao Salodia, a 1978 batch officer, wrote to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressing disappointment for purportedly being overlooked for the post of chief secretary.
“Under the Fundamental Right (to profess, practice and propagate any religion) guaranteed by Article 25 (I) of the Constitution of India, I have converted myself from Hinduism to Islam religion today, the 31st December,” the officer wrote in his handwritten public declaration. “After conversion, my name is Umrao Khan,” he added.
Along with that, Salodia also applied for VRS from the IAS, saying he wanted to retire so that he would not have to “function under my junior”.
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The current chief secretary C S Rajan (of the same batch) was due to retire on December 31, but will continue on the post after being granted a three-month extension by the state government.
Salodia, presently the chairman of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, said he would have been the state’s “first chief secretary from the SC/ST category”.
“For the first time after Independence…myself, an IAS officer from SC/ST category would have been appointed today (Thursday) the chief secretary of Rajasthan on the basis of seniority. Instead, to deny the opportunity to me, Mr C S Rajan has been given a three month extension till 31/03/2016,” he wrote to Raje.
“I hereby apply for Voluntary Retirement by giving three months notice under the All India Service rules. Kindly sanction my voluntary retirement… so that I don’t have to function under my junior,” he said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore rubbished allegations of victimisation and said the government had always encouraged employees from SC/ST categories. He said the government would act against Salodia for speaking against the government in public.