Karnataka: Siddaramaiah firm, no transfers this season

It is the CM who handles transfers of Class-I officers and above, while the lower rungs are left to ministers and MLAs.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

BENGALURU: The issue of transfers cropped up towards the fag end of the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, after the main agenda had been discussed for a good 150 minutes. With the government working on an official transfer policy which is due to be finalised by the cabinet soon, some ministers urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to consent to transfers now as there are no restrictions.

The CM was firm that he would not entertain transfer pleas, and cautiously reminded ministers that negative remarks had been made against the government last year due to the issue of transfers, and it would be prudent not to take up the issue now. He then rose to leave, signalling that it was the end of the matter.

It is the CM who handles transfers of Class-I officers and above, while the lower rungs are left to ministers and MLAs.

With May and June the designated season of official transfers, about 6-8 per cent of government staffers seek transfers, which is allowed as per tradition. This year, with the election model code of conduct in place till June 6, the government could not take up transfer pleas. Post election results, there has been tremendous pressure to effect transfer of officials.

It may be recalled that last year, there was a slew of transfers with some departments exceeding the 6-8 per cent norm, and even breaching 20-25 per cent. It had dented the image of the government, with allegations that the transfers had been done for financial gains.

Union Steel Minister HD Kumaraswamy had in July 2023 brandished a pen drive which he alleged contained details of the transfer scam. He claimed that some ministers had received up to Rs 10 crore per transfer in the energy department. One particular officer had got a staggering Rs 50 lakh per day and many people had benefited from the transfers, he had claimed.

A TNIE probe had revealed that a handful of influential persons, including some ministers, had later met Kumaraswamy and requested him not to reveal the contents of the pen drive.

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