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New Delhi: Two more chief ministers – Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan and Tamil Nadu’s M.K. Stalin – have spoken against the Union government’s proposed changes to the the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had already been vocal against the proposed amendments, reiterated her strong disapproval on Sunday, January 23, accusing the Narendra Modi government of destroying the federal structure of the country. She has already written twice to Modi on the issue.
Earlier, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Baghel and Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren had also written to Modi to scrap the plans.
The Union government has proposed an amendment to the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954, which would enable it to post IAS officers on central deputation, bypassing reservations of state governments.
Expressing deep concern about the draft amendments proposed by Union government, Stalin wrote that it “strikes at the very root of our federal polity and state autonomy.”
While the Union is availing the common pool from Group-I officers at the national level, the state governments solely depend on the limited pool of IAS officers available in the state, he stressed in a letter to Modi.
The state governments are on the forefront of implementation of various programmes including the schemes of the union government at the state level. The states also face frequent natural disasters which demands services of IAS officers in the state more than elsewhere. Under such circumstances, forcing the state governments to depute officers would surely aggravate the ‘governance deficit’ in various states due to shortage of officers and also it is an ‘affront’ to the administrative frame work of the states, Stalin said.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister also criticised the Union government’s lateral entry recruitment, saying it affected the morale of the officers who willingly seek deputation.
Possible harm to the federal structure was also highlighted by Banerjee in her latest speech.
“How can the Centre play with our federal structure? How can it overrule the opinion and rights of duly elected state governments? The Centre should not do this,” Banerjee said at a public function on Sunday.
Earlier, she had written to Modi saying, that the amendment would “create a fear psychosis among officers and impact their performance”.
The same phrase – “fear psychosis” – was used by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in his letter to the prime minister too.
Vijayan said the present deputation rules are themselves heavily loaded in favour of the Union and bringing in further stringency will weaken the very root of cooperative federalism. “The proposed amendments in the Deputation Rules of All India Services will definitely induce a fear psychosis and an attitude of hesitancy among All India Service Officers to implement policies of a state government, which are formed by party/parties politically opposed by the ruling party at the Centre,” Vijayan said in the letter.
“In our federal set-up, the state governments are on a par with the central government as both of them are elected by the people, though the division of authority in the Constitution does give the Union jurisdiction over a wider range of subjects.
(With PTI inputs)