Majid Jahangir, Srinagar
The sequence of events within the present government’s bureaucracy in Jammu and Kashmir clearly suggests that all is not well between the ruling PDP-BJP alliance and the bureaucracy. The growing discontent amongst bureaucrats against the current government in the state has been a subject of intense conversation in the political circle in Srinagar.
People keenly watching the developments feel that the way Mufti Mohamad Sayeed led- government is being run has widened the gap between bureaucracy and the ruling class. It all started with the exit of the incumbent Chief Secretary, Mohamad Iqbal Khanday, who opted for voluntary retirement recently over the differences with PDP-BJP government.
While leaving, he alleged that the present government of the state had reduced top bureaucrats to the posts of stenographers.
The cold war between bureaucrats and the government has intensified since then.
Following the appointment of the new chief secretary, B R Sharma, another top bureaucrat in the state, Khursheed Ahmad Ganie, financial secretary (Industries), on Wednesday went on a protest leave. Reports said that both Ganie and another bureaucrat Arun Kumar, Financial Commissioner have expressed their unhappiness over the appointment of B R Sharma as the new chief secretary.
A source said that ‘it would have been difficult for Ganie to report to Sharma, who is his junior.’ Ganie was retiring on 31 October this year.
Jantakareporter.com has also learnt that Arun Kumar has decided to opt for premature retirement and he is preparing the papers for the same.
Insiders say that the present political dispensation in the state had no idea how to deal with top officers resulting in the alienation of these officers adding that the discord between political class and bureaucracy has intensified after PDP-BJP alliance came to power.
“All postings and transfers are being made by ministers and politicians. They are not taking on board the senior bureaucrats on such matters. Hence the growing discomfort among the bureaucracy.”
Former chief secretary Iqbal Khanday’s differences with the government arose after it rejected his suggestion to defer the 17 August cabinet meeting.
A senior government official said that “if this trend of installing juniors as top bureaucrats and ignoring seniority continues, this will lead to widening the gap between political class and bureaucracy in the state. And this wouldn’t augur well as far as governance is concerned.”