Once a fierce critic of VIP culture, the AAP government has issued a list of practices to be followed by officials while dealing with Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).
“Officials should show courtesy and consideration to MPs and MLAs,” the order says, adding that “officials should rise to receive the public representatives and see them off too”. “Arrangements should be made in advance to receive them in office if a visit is already scheduled,” the order says.
Besides, the order says that proper seating arrangements should be made at public functions. Other points in the order include:
* Officials should not ignore telephonic messages left for them by the public representatives (MPs and MLAs).
* Officials should not approach MPs and MLAs for sponsoring individual cases, attempting to bring in political or non-political influence.
* The public representatives should invariably be invited to public functions organised by government officials. Any deviation from the appointment made with an MP or MLA must be promptly explained to him to avoid any possible inconvenience.
If a communication, the order adds, is addressed to a minister or secretary, then the same would answer.
“If the minister is unavailable, then the secretary would answer. While responding to MPs and MLAs, the official would see that the communication is legit. Pre-printed or cyclo-styled replies should be avoided,” the order says.
When contacted, former Chief Secretary Omesh Sehgal said though there were guidelines as per service rules, he had no recall of any directive issued to officials like the present order. “There are general instructions. These instructions are for everyone and not just limited to the public representatives. You should show courtesy to every representative, be it NGO, common people or MLAs. Everyone must be properly heard,” Sehgal said.