Jaipur: A day after Chief Secretary CK Mathew applied for a 58-day leave following allegations by BJP of favouring state government, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday termed it as a "very unfortunate" incident and said such "illogical accusations" demoralise the bureaucracy.
"I feel hurt that a self-respectful and honest IAS officer (Mathew) who has been serving the state for last 36 years was a target of BJP`s baseless and illogical allegations ...I condemn their allegations," Gehlot told reporters here.
Mathew yesterday applied for a 58-day leave till the completion of the election process in the state following demands by Opposition BJP for his immediate shifting, alleging that his working style was "doubtful" and the officer was "fulfilling interests of the state government".
BJP had also alleged "gross violation" of model code of conduct in poll-bound Rajasthan, saying the state machinery was being misused to popularise government`s flagship schemes.
In Mathew`s defence, Gehlot said: "After imposing the model code of conduct by CEC in the poll bound Rajasthan, it is official duty of the bureaucracy to carry on the ongoing developmental schemes and monitor them on regular basis."
"Mr Mathew was doing that work only, and what was wrong in it?" he asked.
Gehlot recalled how Opposition`s deputy leader G S Tiwari had hailed the performance of bureaucrats including Mathew in the recently concluded assembly session.
Now, other leaders are making false allegations which are ridiculous, he said.
The Chief Minister said the Election Commission would decide on the matter.
Mathew`s application for long leave will be taken up by Department of Personnel today.
Hitting out at BJP state president Vasundhara Raje for
her "poison" remark, Gehlot said it was part of BJP`s conspiracy against his government`s free medicine scheme.
"Every medicine given to patients is tested and has gone through clinical trials," he said.
Pointing out that around 2.5 lakh people in the state were receiving free medicines every day, the Chief Minister said that BJP is trying to create a favourable atmosphere for multi-national drug companies.
Raje had said the Gehlot government was giving "poison" in the name of free medicines at a function here recently.
On BJP`s black paper against his government released by Raje, Gehlot said, "There was nothing comparable between the present Congress rule and previous Raje government. It (the black paper) was a bundle of lies."