Day after Prez clean chit,Hooda calls it ‘administrative issue’

A day after President Pranab Mukherjee exonerated Haryana cadre IFS officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi — the whistleblower who blew the lid off corruption in the state’s forest department — of all charges.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: March 14, 2014 12:19 pm

A day after President Pranab Mukherjee exonerated Haryana cadre IFS officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi — the whistleblower who blew the lid off corruption in the state’s forest department — of all charges,Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Saturday termed it an “administrative issue”.

Speaking to mediapersons during a “Meet the Press” programme,Hooda said: “Those officers who give outstanding performance are rewarded while those found indulging in dereliction of duties are punished.” He added that the state was not discriminating in taking action against any officers.

Chaturvedi,a Haryana-cadre Indian Forest Service officer who is now on deputation as the chief vigilance officer of AIIMS,was issued a chargesheet in August 2012 when he asked the state government to relieve him for his Central deputation.

Following this,the whistleblower made a representation to Mukherjee. The President found “none of the charges is sustainable”,the Union Environment and Forests Ministry had said in an order issued Friday.

Meanwhile,Hooda on Saturday reiterated his claim on Chandigarh by stating that the city belongs to Haryana and no other state. Commenting on the New Chandigarh coming up in Punjab’s Mullanpur,the CM said: “Chandigarh belongs to Haryana. Let Haryana get Chandigarh and its due share of water,then only issues can be sorted through dialogue.”

Asked about Himachal’s demand for an industrial package,he said: “We are not against Himachal Pradesh getting a special industrial package,but a similar package should also be given to Haryana for our own hilly areas of Morni and Mewat.”

Commenting on Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh alleging that Punjab and Haryana governments were jealous of Himachal,Hooda said: “Himachal is a good neighbour. There was a time when a large area of Himachal Pradesh and the current Haryana and Punjab formed one state.”

Asked about the circumstances that forced Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjeet Singh thinking about quitting Congress,the CM said: “Rao Inderjeet had been my classmate and a friend. I have always helped him. Whether he stays in the party or not,that is his personal decision. As far as a notice being issued to Singh by Congress is concerned,this is a matter between him and the party. I cannot comment on this.”

Government has taken back land given to Reliance: Hooda

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Saturday said the government has already taken back possession of land given to Reliance for development of a special economic zone. “My government has not acquired even a single acre of land for SEZ. The Opposition has been misleading the people by issuing false statements in media that they will return land to farmers. Which land are they referring to? If anybody can prove that my government has acquired land for SEZ,I will immediately quit,” he said.

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