Nath's shuffles have impacted 15,000 officials

New superintendents of police (SPs) have been appointed in 48 out of 52 districts during the period.

Bhopal: The Kamal Nath government has landed in an “unsavoury” controversy even before it completed 170 days in office by effecting administrative reshuffles with an “unusual frequency and scale”.

Over 15,000 employees of Madhya Pradesh government have so far been reshuffled since the new government assumed office on December 17, 2018, even as officially the transfer season was to end on July 5.

“The scale and frequency of transfer of employees witnessed in the state government is unprecedented. The development is a demonstration of lack of trust of the state government in its employees, which is detrimental to the interest of governance,” joint convener of various state government employees' unions Laxminarayan Sharma told this newspaper on Wednesday.

More than 450 IAS and IPS officers have been transferred during the period in the exercise to overhaul the top level administration and police department by the chief minister Kamal Nath.

While all the ten divisional commissioners and 52 districts collectors in the state have been replaced, new superintendents of police (SPs) have been appointed in 48 out of 52 districts during the period.

“Decision-making process has seriously been hit due to the 'whimsical and irrational' manner in which administrative reshuffles have been done. Governance has been affected adversely causing miseries to people,” a senior bureaucrat told this newspaper requesting not to be quoted.

The worsening water crisis, triggered by intense heat wave conditions for the last one month, leading to water wars at several places, was particularly the fallout of the virtual policy paralysis of the Kamal Nath government, thanks to its unimaginative transfer policy, he added.

He said the state government was yet to come up with a concrete policy to combat the water crisis.

According to official reports, more than 40,000 hand pumps in the state have gone dry with water level in the parched regions going down drastically, causing untold miseries to the locals.

The heat wave has so far claimed six lives in MP.

The state government has merely adopted the piecemeal approach to address the problem by ordering the urban and rural local bodies to arrange for water tankers, escorted by policemen, in the areas facing crisis.

“Transfer of employees has become a mega industry in the state. Factional feud in the ruling Congress has held back appointment of collector of Bhopal district for the last ten days. Talks making rounds the official circle say government posts are being auctioned,” former chief minister and BJP national vice-president Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said.

Incidentally, a recent raid in the house of an “influential” person linked to chief minister’s office by Income Tax (IT) sleuths has led to a seizure of purported documents showing a list of transfer of some IAS and IPS officers and transaction of money in the exercise.

Significantly, the “bizarre” policy by the state government making it mandatory to get nod of ministers in-charge of districts in the state for transfers of class one to class four employees in their areas has been resented.

“The state government has virtually made transfer of employees political by taking the decision. It will not only breed corruption but also seriously affect governance,” an office bearer of one of the state government employees' unions has warned.

“It is unfortunate that the officers and employees who have refused to succumb to diktats of the ruling Congress leaders in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections have been victimised by way of their transfers,” a BJP spokesman here alleged.

The Congress spokesman here however dismissed the allegation describing the transfer of the state government employees as a “routine official exercise”.

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