Win some, lose some!
Election 2014 will of course be remembered for Narendra Modi and the BJP’s stupendous victory. But it will also be known as the election which saw perhaps the greatest number of former bureaucrats who entered the poll fray with varying degrees of success. For many ambitious IAS babus, who have spent their career in exercising power in the name of their political masters, politics is that siren song that is equally irresistible and instinctive. Most see it as a natural progression in a career devoted to public service! This election season was no exception. As many as seven former IAS officers, 16 former IPS officers, two former IFS officers and three IRS officers had sought to try their luck at netagiri. And in what was surely a first, a former army chief too exchanged uniform for the neta’s khadi. Not surprisingly those who had fought on the BJP ticket were successful, while the others found themselves floundering after the results were announced. Clearly the biggest winners are former army chief V.K.Singh, former home secretary R.K. Singh and former Maharashtra director general of police Satyapal Singh, who fought on a BJP ticket, and won handsomely. The only other IAS officer who won was Bhagirath Prasad from Bhind in Madhya Pradesh. Interestingly although as many as 16 former cops had contested from various parts of the country, only Harish Chandra Meena (Dausa, Rajasthan) and Vishnu Dayal Ram (Palamau, Jharkhand) were victorious, besides Satyapal Singh. Not surprisingly, they all won on the BJP ticket. The also-rans included Christy Fernandez, former secretary to the President who fought independently from Ernakulam, Kerala; Yudhbir Singh Khyalia from Hisar, Haryana and former cop Nikhil Kumar fromAurangabad, Bihar, who lost. Of course it should be pointed out that former IFS officers Mani Shankar Aiyar and Meira Kumar of the Congress lost as did a certain former IRS officer Arvind Kejriwal! While the BJP’s babu brigade is well set for a new innings in netagiri, the others no doubt would be re-examining their options.
Back in the saddle
Modi’s win has generated a lot of hope and optimism about the better days ahead. But for the moment we are still surrounded by old ghosts from the UPA’s much maligned regime. Here is some more evidence that the more things change, the more they stay the same! Two Maharashtra IAS officers J.M. Phatak and Pradeep Vyas, under suspension for their alleged role in the Adarsh housing scandal, have been reinstated by the State Government. The two babus were suspended and later arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for misusing their position to obtain membership of that housing society. They have been reinstated by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, a stickler for rules, saying that the rules insist that an official cannot be placed under suspension beyond two years. The departmental probe against bureaucrats involved in the case however drags on. Meanwhile the two babus are back but still await their new assignments.