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Action on bureaucrat Gangwar: Would a pro-BJP comment invite same reaction?

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Special Correspondent

Bhopal: The swift action of BJP-led state government on bureaucrat Ajay Gangwar, who praised first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in a sarcastic comment on social media, is quickly taking a political colour. The question being asked: would a pro-government or pro-ruling party comment invite similar reaction.

The MP government on Friday transferred Barwani collector Ajay Gangwar to secretariat in Bhopal as deputy secretary. Anyone can tell that the posting meant shoving the bureaucrat, who ‘dared’ to use term like ‘Hindu Taliban’ on his Facebook post, to the sidelines.

The action on the bureaucrat came within two days of his writing and deleting the post. The ground for the action is violation of civil services conduct rule which states that bureaucrats are not to indulge in political action.

Interestingly another IAS officer Sibi Chakravarty, who congratulated Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha on Twitter and later deleted it as controversy erupted, still continues as the collector of Narsinghpur. Sibi’s social media outing was before that of Gangwar’s.

In his FB post, Gangwar sarcastically questioned as to ‘what mistakes (Jawaharlal) Nehru shouldn’t have made. If he (Nehru) stopped India from becoming a Hindu Taliban country in 1947, if he opened IITs, ISRO, BAARC, IIMs, if he honoured Sarabhai, Homi Jahangir instead of intellectuals like Asaram and Ramdev, and opened universities instead of temples and cowsheds, were all these his mistakes? For all these mistakes, the Gandhi family should seek apologies of the nation’ (This is loose translation of Gangwar’s post in Hindi).

ajay gangwar facebook post

The Congress has been quick to pick up the issue. Senior leaders like AICC functionary Girija Vyas have termed the action as biased and one that was against freedom of speech. State Congress spokesman Bhupendra Gupta questioned whether similar reaction would have come for pro-BJP comments. The Bhopal district Congress burnt an effigy of BJP government to condemn the action.

The Congress has also reminded the BJP government in state that about two years ago, a senior bureaucrat had made a presentation in a BJP meet at its headquarters in Bhopal – a clearly political event.

Overall, the message that the government action on Gangwar sends is that nothing anti-ruling party would be tolerated by the government and when it is especially about Nehru-Gandhi family, it is a complete no-no.