Andhra minister's remark angers bureaucrats



Hyderabad: Serving and retired bureaucrats in Andhra Pradesh are up in arms against a state minister's reported remark that officials who have no commitment to their work should be shot dead.

While the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers Association has condemned the remark and decided to take up the issue with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, some former IAS officials have asked the government to book the minister.

E.A.S. Sarma, former secretary (finance and power) in the central government, said Minister for Minor Irrigation T.G. Venkatesh's statement at a public function amounted to an incitement to murder all those who failed to deliver.

"It is a potentially dangerous statement that attracts criminal liability under IPC ( Indian Penal Code) and the local police should take cognizance of it and prosecute him forthwith. If they fail to do this, it would amount to dereliction of duty," Sarma said in a letter to Chief Secretary Minnie Mathew.

Another former IAS officer and Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan has strongly condemned Venkatesh's remark. "It is unbecoming of a minister to make such a statement," he told reporters in Visakhapatnam Sunday.

Venkatesh, while inaugurating a government office in Kurnool district Friday had stated that the IAS officers, emboldened by their job security, were behaving in a headstrong manner.

He criticised the bureaucrats for returning the files with some query or the other. He reportedly went on to remark that the officials not committed to their work should be shot dead.

The minister's reported remark infuriated the IAS officers, who were already unhappy over the arrest and questioning of their colleagues in corruption cases. They allege that they are being made scapegoat for the acts of omission and commission committed by politicians.

The IAS Officers' Association at its meeting Saturday passed a resolution condemning Venkatesh's remark.

"The association feels that the minister's statement has the potential to incite the public and create law and order problems. The minister (T.G. Venkatesh) is duty bound to steer the affairs of the government in accordance with the law and the Constitution," said the resolution.

"The performance or non-performance of any officer is to be dealt with in accordance with the law and rules and procedures of the government. Loose talk of mob justice by the Minister lowers the dignity of his own office, demoralises the bureaucracy and brings down the image of the government," it added.

IANS