July 3, 2021 8:44:43 am
A day after Bihar Social Welfare Minister Madan Sahni offered to resign over his displeasure with the “bureaucratic dictatorship” in his department, RJD chief and former chief minister Lalu Prasad took a dig at the Nitish Kumar-led NDA administration, calling it a “third division-pass” government.
Before leaving for Darbhanga on Friday, Sahni, a JD(U) leader, said: “I can no longer tolerate bureaucratic dictatorship. I have been facing it for a long time now. There is no point in sticking to a big bungalow in Patna when I am not able to serve the people…. I have decided to resign as minister but will continue to work under Nitish Kumar’s leadership.”
Taking a potshot at the government, Lalu posted an image of a news report on Sahni’s comments and tweeted (in Hindi, and English), “When a crawling, third division-pass and 40-odd seat party leader becomes CM, misusing state machinery and using money and muscle power, such things are bound to happen. Forget about good or bad, there is No governance at all in Bihar.”
While Sahni did not name any officer, sources said he was upset at Social Welfare department’s additional chief secretary Atul Prasad Prasad for not having cleared all transfer files by June 30. Annual transfer is carried out in June-end.
Prasad said he was on leave in June and cleared all files brought to him after he resumed work last week.
This is not the first time a minister in Bihar has come to loggerheads with the department’s top bureaucrat. Last year, principal secretary, Health, Sanjay Kumar (now additional chief secretary, Education) was shifted out after Health Minister Mangal Pandey was reportedly upset at the officer for not agreeing on certain policy matters.
On the Sahni episode, a retired bureaucrat said: “There could be ways of looking at matters of transfers and postings. It is not necessary for bureaucrats to agree with ministers all the time. While a minister can go public with his displeasure, a bureaucrat will always cite rules to back himself over criticism by the government.”
The retired officer pointed out that Atul Prasad had blown the lid off Muzaffarpur shelter home case by getting Tata Energy Research Institute to prepare a comprehensive report on all shelter homes in the state. “The minister may well have politics in mind, no one can question Prasad’s integrity,” the former bureaucrat said.
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