BHOPAL: A young Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer who recently travelled to some of the state's remotest villages to dispel myths about vaccination, has now applied for inter-cadre deputation to home state Maharashtra for taking care of his ailing grandfather and widowed mother. Interestingly, while 2014 batch bureaucrat Lokesh Jangid's application to the central government via the MP chief secretary for the three years inter-cadre deputation cites pressing family reasons as the reason, his recent posts/chats in a closed private signal app messaging group of MP cadre IAS officers points towards an entirely different possibility.
In the posts/chats that have been leaked and gone viral on social media, the young bureaucrat narrates about his nine administrative postings in just 54 months of service in the central Indian state. The leaked posts alleging rampant corruption have created ripples in the power corridors of the state.
Jangid, who was transferred from the post of additional collector of Barwani district to additional mission director at Rajya Shiksha Kendra in Bhopal on May 31, wrote in one of the posts in the closed private group of state's IAS officers, "In Bihar, they don't make anyone DM who mints money. In MP, the less said the better."
In another post in the same group, the young civil servant wrote, "Stability of tenure in Madhya Pradesh and the joke of an institution called Civil Service Board.'
Jangid further wrote, "I will come out with a book post-retirement and hopefully bring the facts before everyone to see. Right now my hands are tied by the conduct rules."
"Interestingly, those who mint money from all kinds of mafia get transfer from field to field. And those with impeccable integrity get thrown to Secretariat on transfer (sic)."
Writing about his recent transfer that saw him shifted from the post of additional collector of Barwani district to additional mission director at Rajya Shiksha Kendra, Bhopal, the 2014 batch IAS officer wrote that the present Barwani district collector Shivraj Singh Verma poisoned CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan's ears against him (Jangid) as he (the collector) wasn't able to make money.
In the posts, the IAS officer also wrote about both the present Barwani collector and the CM hailing from the same Kirar community. The CM's wife is the head of Kirar Mahsabha, while the Barwani collector's wife is its secretary, Jangid wrote.
The young bureaucrat even made a stinging criticism of senior bureaucrats, writing, "Of course who's who in bureaucracy are mere Nero's Guests these days."
The leaked message chats in the closed private message group of the state's IAS officers also bear a post in which a senior bureaucrat who heads the state IAS Officers body advised Jangid to have some decency and delete all his posts to which the young IAS officer responds saying he won't delete the posts and he may be removed from the group.
He was subsequently removed from the MP IAS officers' private messaging group by the Group Admin of the IAS Officers private group.
However, when questioned by The New Indian Express about the entire episode on Tuesday, the young IAS officer said, "I've requested for inter-cadre deputation for three years to Maharashtra due to pressing family concerns."
When questioned about his recent transfer being behind his inter-cadre deputation request, Jangid said, "Transfers and postings are a prerogative of every government. I've nothing to complain about the government. My field assignments since my first posting as SDM-Vijaypur in Sheopur district have given me immense satisfaction, particularly the satisfaction of working to my best ability in tribal areas."
He also expressed ignorance about how his chats/posts in the closed private signal app group of MP IAS officers got leaked.
In his nine postings after his first as SDM-Vijaypur in Sheopur district on November 1, 2016, he has been posted as SDM-Shahdol, under-secretary of the Revenue Department, CEO of the Harda Zila Panchayat, additional collector of Guna district and additional collector of Barwani district.
Jangid was in the news last month for travelling on a motorbike from one village to another in Barwani district of West MP to dispel myths pertaining to COVID vaccination among villagers, besides learning from them of the progress of specific welfare schemes during COVID lockdown.
Meanwhile, the Barwani district collector Shivraj Singh Verma denied allegations of corruption against him by the 2014 batch IAS officer in the leaked Signal app chat. He also denied that his wife was an office bearer of the Kirar Mahasabha.
The opposition Congress attacked the BJP government in the matter. Claiming that Jangid was transferred from Barwani for exposing the corruption in the purchase of medical equipment during the COVID pandemic, the state Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja demanded that state's CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other responsible ministers/bureaucrats should come clear over the young bureaucrat's transfer and his viral social media chat.
MP govt issues show-cause notice to Lokesh Jangid
The state government has in the meantime issued a show-cause notice to the young IAS officer and sought his reply within a week of receipt of the notice.
While confirming the issuance of the show-cause notice to the officer, MP cabinet minister Vishvas Sarang said, transfers and postings are routine administrative procedure.
"The same officer was transferred even during the previous Congress regime in the state, so how come the same officer has become so dear to Congress party now? No officer is bigger than system. Every officer has to abide by civil services conduct rules, which have been violated by the concerned officer. He has been issued show-cause over indiscipline," the minister said.