All agencies, institutions, departments are official 'pracharaks': Kharge's letter to PM Modi
He said that in view of protecting democracy and Constitution, it is imperative that the orders which would lead to the politicising of bureaucracy and our Armed Forces must be withdrawn immediately
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his government's orders saying that all agencies, institutions, arms, wings, and departments of the government are now officially 'Pracharaks'.
He also said that in view of protecting democracy and the Constitution, it is imperative that the orders which would lead to the politicising of bureaucracy and our Armed Forces must be withdrawn immediately.
In his two-page letter, Kharge said that he was writing on a matter of great public importance which is of concern not just to the INDIA parties but also to people at large.
"This has to do with the gross misuse of government machinery taking place in the country today in service of the ruling political party," the Congress leader said.
Kharge, who is also Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha referred to a letter dated October 18, the subject of which states that senior officers, of ranks as high as Joint Secretary, Director, and Deputy Secretary, are to be deployed to all 765 districts of India.
"They are to be deployed as 'Rath Prabharis' to 'showcase achievements of the last 9 years of government'. It is no coincidence that the last nine years correspond to your tenure in office. This is of grave concern for multiple reasons. It is a clear violation of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, which directs that no government servant shall take part in any political activity," he said.
He said that while it is acceptable for government officers to disseminate information, to make them "celebrate" and "showcase" achievements blatantly turns them into political workers of the ruling party.
He pointed out that the fact that only "achievements" of the last 9 years are being considered, gives away the fact that this is a "transparently political order" in the run-up to the five state elections and the general elections of 2024.
He further said that if senior officers of departments are being deputed for marketing activity of the current government, the governance of the country will grind to a halt for the next six months.
He then also referred to an order passed by the Ministry of Defence on October 9, directing soldiers on annual leave to spend time on promoting government schemes, making them "soldier-ambassadors".
"The Army Training Command, which should be focused on preparing our jawans to defend the nation, is busy preparing scripts and training manuals on how to promote government schemes. It is of utmost importance in a democracy that the Armed Forces are kept out of politics," he said, adding that the loyalty of every personnel is to the nation and to the Constitution.
"To force our soldiers to become marketing agents of government schemes is a dangerous step towards politicization of the Armed Forces," he noted.
He also criticised the government saying that after many months or years of difficult service to our nation, soldiers deserve complete freedom on their annual leave.
"Their leave must not be hijacked for political purposes," he said.
"In both cases, of civil servants and soldiers, it is essential that government machinery is kept out of politics, especially so in the months leading up to an election," the Congress leader said.
Taking a jibe at the government, Kharge said in addition to the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax Department and the CBI already acting as election departments of the BJP, the orders mentioned above put the entire government machinery to work as if they are agents of the ruling party.
"All agencies, institutions, arms, wings, and departments are now officially 'Pracharaks'. In view of protecting our democracy and our Constitution, it is imperative that the above orders are withdrawn immediately," he added.
Published: 22 Oct 2023, 3:54 PM