The Congress on Sunday said that it will challenge in court a letter sent by the office of Secondary Education department allegedly asking “MLAs/district presidents” to share the details of affiliated party workers who want a transfer. The letter dated February 16 was sent by Bharat Kumar Sharma, a Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS) officer, who is Special Assistant to Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vasudev Devnani. The subject line of the letter reads, “Regarding sending proposals for transfer of current/former office bearers, or senior workers, for themselves, or for their family members.”
“As per directions, this is to request you if, within your Vidhan Sabha, there is any current or former office bearer, or a senior worker of the party, who wish for their transfer or of their family member, then please share a soft copy of the details on the given email in the prescribed format,” reads the letter.
Devnani has reportedly said that such requests keep coming during public hearings at the BJP office, hence his office has only sought proposals. The minister could not be reached for comment.
The letter drew sharp reactions from teacher unions and Congress. Sumer Khatana, chief general secretary of Rajasthan Shiksha Sewa Pradhyapak Sangh (RESLA), said “this is a clear violation of rules which prohibit a government official to be associated with a political party. Second, through this letter, you (the government) are influencing government workers to join the party.”
“The decision of political recommendations in transfers is unconstitutional and unethical. It is a highly shameful act which will be legally challenged,” said Congress state vice president Archana Sharma.
Congress state president Sachin Pilot said that the letter is “morally and legally wrong”. “The BJP government has lost its ground hence it is resorting to an illegal move to appease party leaders. It is clear that in its last year, the government wants to extend benefit to people associated with BJP,” he said, demanding that Devani should apologise and the letter be withdrawn.