CHANDIGARH: After Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal accused the state bureaucracy of being corrupt, the Opposition Congress on Sunday demanded that Badal should name the corrupt officers.
On Saturday, while addressing a Nabard function where top bureaucrats, including Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal and Financial Commissioner Suresh Kumar, were present, Badal said: “The bureaucrats are busy making money. They are not interested in improving governance, and if I say anything, they will gang up against me. The politicians are fighting among themselves. But these officers flock together when one of them is trouble.”
“The inefficiency of officers is giving us a bad name. We need to conduct an operation and remove all the ill will that people hold against the government. I have asked all secretaries to visit villages and districts,” he added.
Meanwhile, former CM Capt Amarinder Singh reminded Badal that he was the head of a government, of which bureaucracy was part and parcel and that when he blamed the bureaucracy, he was eventually blaming himself.
He said it was quite strange that such “desperate rumblings” were coming from someone whose “only claim to fame is having become Chief Minister for a record fifth time.
“If over these five terms as the CM you couldn’t learn the art of working with the bureaucrats then you really don’t deserve to be the Chief Minister anymore,” he went on.
And Cong spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the startling allegations and disclosures made by none less than the CM had to be investigated.
“Such serious allegations and admissions by the Chief Minister of a state cannot be allowed to be swept under the carpet. Badal must spell out a time-bound roadmap that he proposes to adopt in order to root out corruption and inefficiency at the highest level,” he said.
In a strange move, the Central Information Commission has dropped penalty proceedings against a Home Ministry official, who did not furnish any information to an applicant even 10 months after the filing of RTI.
According to the RTI Act, if the information was not furnished within a month of filing the application, without giving any reasonable cause, the Commission was bound to impose a penalty of `250 per day on the officer concerned from the date information became due to till the date when it was furnished to the applicant.