New Delhi: Notwithstanding objections from Chief Ministers of Delhi and Goa, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday defended the reshuffle effected in AGMUT cadre officers saying laid down guidelines were "scrupulously" followed.
Addressing a press conference, Chidambaram said transfers and postings of officers of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre are not done by the Home Minister but by the Home Secretary along with the Union Territory division of the Home Ministry.
"It is strictly according to norms and guidelines. The Home Secretary has assured me that he scrupulously followed the norms and guidelines," he said.
Chidambaram`s remarks came after Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit met him and demanded that the city government be consulted before effecting transfer of top officials of her administration.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has even demanded an apology from the Home Minister for what he called "unilaterally appointing IPS officers in the state and without taking the state government into confidence".
The Home Ministry, which controls the AGMUT cadres officers, has recently effected reshuffle in senior officers, including IAS and IPS, who have completed their stipulated tenures in a particular administrative area.
"As far as Delhi is concerned, I think the reports are exaggerated. The Chief Minister has met me. The (Delhi) Chief Secretary has met the Home Secretary and I think there are some difference of opinion about one or two officers. But by and large there is no difference," Chidambaram said.
The Home Minister also dismissed the suggestion that there was a political battle going on with the two Chief Ministers on the issue.
"There is no political battle. As I said these are imaginary political battles. These are normal administrative hiccups and with a glass of water, hiccups will come to an end," he said.
Official sources said those who were so far transferred from their respective postings have completed more than four years while there are still some officers serving either in Delhi or Goa for more than seven to 10 years who are required to be transferred.
According to the guidelines, the Home Ministry has to ensure that cadre officers serve hard areas at their turn and get required experience in serving in different constituent units of the cadre.
It is also mandated to check and curb the tendency of some officers to stick to Delhi for years together by bringing extraneous pressures.
"Notwithstanding anything contained in this policy, the Home Ministry has the absolute right, if necessary, to transfer or post any officer to any constituent at any time on administrative grounds/ in public interest," the guideline says.