According to sources, retired IAS officer Ajay Singh Chittora is seeking a Congress ticket from Vidhyadhar Nagar constituency.
With Assembly elections a few weeks away, netas seeking tickets in Rajasthan are facing stiff competition from former IAS and IPS officers. Both main parties, the BJP and the Congress. Are seeing ex-babus lining up to join their ranks. Though by no means a new trend, it is fascinating to note just which retired babus have been bitten by the politics bug. After a career spent in close proximity to powerful netas and wielding considerable power themselves, it is understandable why some retired babus have flung their proverbial hats in the political akhada.
According to sources, retired IAS officer Ajay Singh Chittora is seeking a Congress ticket from Vidhyadhar Nagar constituency. Yet another retired IAS officer Lalchand Aswal is seeking a ticket from Dudu constituency. There have been many former bureaucrats in Rajasthan who have and are enjoying a successful career in politics after retirement from service. Namo Narayan Meena was a minister in the Manmohan Singh government for two consequent terms. His brother and former DGP of Rajasthan, Harish Meena, is presently the BJP MP from Dausa. Arjun Ram Meghwal, the minister of state for finance, was also an IAS officer.
With the very dramatic, very public goings-on in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), civil servants across services and cadres have begun to question the much vaunted 360-degree evaluation method introduced by the Modi sarkar a few years ago. After all, the recent developments in the CBI — officials slapping grave charges against each other — is the outcome of this very method.
The 360-degree method was introduced in the belief that seniors do not want to spoil their relations with juniors, hence record outstanding ACRs/APRs, even if they do not deserve them. The system is seen as not only opaque but also contravening the established mechanisms. Observers point out that several senior officials in the department of revenue and the Enforcement Directorate have made written charges against each other. A RAW officer too was found to be involved in hatching conspiracies against top officials. The empanelment, selection and deployment of these senior officials were done with the 360-degree method. Clearly, this is not working.
Sleuths vs sleuths
The nation’s top investigative agencies are in a very public meltdown, riven it seems only by the fierce rivalries among their top officials. While it is a bitter cop vs cop, sleuth vs sleuth situation in the CBI, which has dragged in even the mighty Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) into its awkward glare, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) too is experiencing its own upheavals. From being almost a shoo-in for another extension, which would extend his tenure until April 2019, ED Director Karnal Singh was denied that opportunity.
What made the Modi sarkar change its mind, literally at the eleventh hour, is not clear. But observers say that the ED’s Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh is going on “study” leave. Apparently, Mr Singh and CBI chief Alok Verma (already put out to pasture) are being seen as part of an anti-government cabal. Mr Singh had made strong allegations against finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia recently in a letter that was leaked to the media, and then apologised and withdrew his comments.
The goings on at the CBI headquarters have brought the investigative agency’s reputation to its nadir. The ongoing fracas between the government and the agencies is not doing good to either. And the dust is unlikely to settle anytime soon.