Ministers back Himachal CM on transfers

Shimla:  A day after former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal alleged that large-scale transfers of government employees in the past six months has demoralised them, two ministers Monday came to the rescue of the Virbhadra Singh-led government.

“He (Dhumal) should have put a complete ban on transfers when he was in power, but instead thousands of employees were transferred and victimised on political grounds,” ministers Sujan Singh Pathania and Prakash Chaudhary said in a joint statement here.

They said the transfers were being done on administrative grounds and on requests of employees.

“Many transfers were necessitated to strike a balance and gear up the functioning in the field,” they said.

Hailing last week’s Himachal Pradesh High Court judgment on transfer of employees, Dhumal said: “The Congress government has come out with a new transfer policy which must conform to the directions of the high court so that there is no political victimisation of employees.”

“The present regime has virtually turned it into an industry with thousands of transfers having been ordered within the last six months,” the former chief minister said.

On transfers, the ministers clarified that the government has tried to provide succour to the employees who had been victimised by the previous BJP government.

“The cabinet Saturday approved a new transfer policy, which the BJP government has failed to frame in its five-year tenure. The government has also taken a major decision to revive the state administrative tribunal which would go a long way in providing relief to the employees,” they said.

The BJP has been alleging that the six-month-old government has issued over 35,000 demi-official notes recommending transfer of employees. Of these, over 15,000 transfers have been implemented.

Setting aside the transfer order of four government employees, a division bench of Chief Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Kuldip Singh had observed July 5: “The transfer at the instance of a person, who has no role to play in the government, will not only be extraneous consideration but also against public policy.”

“It shakes the confidence of the people and creates an impression in the mind of the common man that the centre of power is somewhere else and not the government,” they said.


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