In a stern warning to district collectors, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said at a meeting that he would hang top revenue officials upside down if he found out that undisputed revenue cases were pending for more than a month. According to sources in the BJP, Chouhan issued the warning on Saturday at a BJP state executive committee meeting in Bhopal while responding to a leader’s demand that the government should improve the system of disposal of revenue matters.
Chouhan, who will complete 12 years in office in November, said he would visit districts a month later and hang collectors upside down if his warning about clearing revenue cases within a fixed time frame was not implemented.
As Opposition parties targeted the Chief Minister for using harsh words against collectors, party sources on Sunday said Chouhan did not mention the word “collector”, but said revenue officials. The BJP did not issue any official clarification.
The Congress’s Guna MP, Jyotiraditya Scindia, said corruption was rampant in the agriculture and revenue departments. “Farmers are in trouble because of the wrong policies of the BJP government, but the CM is shifting the blame on bureaucrats in a bid to escape his own responsibility,’’ he said. He added that Chouhan’s statement indicates the bureaucracy was working under pressure from the BJP. “Officers should become accountable to people and work fearlessly,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ajay Singh said the warning was a reflection of Chouhan’s incompetence. Singh accused the BJP of manipulating the administration to serve its political interests. The CM’s warning indicates that the bureaucracy was not agreeing to every work asked of it, the Congress leader alleged.
Ironically, while responding to the allegation that his government ordered the firing on farmers in Mandsaur, Chouhan said in the same meeting he was so sensitive that if he sees an insect, he moves it aside, rather than killing it. “Can I order firing?’’ he asked.