PATNA: The suspension of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) chief Kuldip Narayan, a 2005-batch IAS official, on Friday triggered a fresh controversy after it came to light that he has been taking action against builders under close supervision of the Patna High court.
The government, however, charged him for his failure to initiate anti-encroachment drive and demolition of illegal constructions in the city, non-purchase of fogging machine and non-utilisation of funds, among others.
The Patna High Court had on Friday took strong exception to reports of the state suspending the PMC and put a stay on it. A division Bench of Justice V N Sinha and Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha then posted the matter for hearing on Monday. The agitated IAS officials called an urgent meeting and a seven-member delegation met Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and registered their anguish and protest against the suspension. It also demanded immediate security cover to Narayan and his family, saying some builders were targeting them.
Narayan, an IIT-Kanpur alumnus, has instituted vigilance cases of 447 builders for illegal construction of high-rise buildings. The list includes many high and powerful persons such as controversial JD(U) MLA Anant Singh, whose hotel and malls came under the net.
The young IAS officer, who took on strong builders lobby, however had a strong backing of judiciary. The Patna high court has stayed his transfer that forced the state government to move the Supreme Court, which declined to interfere on the matter.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said an IAS official was suspended in a humiliating manner under the pressure from builders connected with the JD(U). “Narayan has to pay the price for initiating action against a powerful MLA considered close to former CM and a builder close to Rajya Sabha member R C P Singh,” he said.