Bureaucrat blames ‘casteist, communal forces’ for removal

March 29th, 2008 - 4:39 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow, March 28 (IANS) Anis Ansari, a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who was last week removed from the coveted post of agriculture production commissioner after a fashion show was held at his official residence, has now sought to blame it all on “casteist and communal forces”. In a written note submitted to the state government here Friday, Ansari has said: “The action ordered against me was guided solely by casteist and communalist considerations”.

“Casteist and communal forces do not want a Muslim officer to occupy any top position in the state,” he has alleged.

Ansari was removed from the coveted job - regarded only next to the chief secretary - after a regional TV channel March 19 telecast a fashion show being conducted by his wife Asma Hussein on the lawns of 4, Vikramaditya Marg, the official residence allotted to him. Ansari continues to live there.

A fashion designer, Asma runs a private fashion institute in the city’s most prime commercial hub Hazratganj. She has been holding fashion shows as part of her institute’s activities, but that was earlier in clubs, hotels or auditoriums.

Following Ansari’s removal, he was asked to explain the holding of a private fashion show at his official residence.

In the six-page explanation addressed to the chief secretary, Ansari has virtually echoed the sentiments aired by his wife on day one. He has claimed that he was among those officials who would be eligible to succeed present chief secretary Prashant Kumar Misra due to retire in August.

He has said two former chief secretaries - Yogendra Narain and A.P. Verma - held similar fashion shows during the IAS week.

“These shows were organised by my wife only but no action was raised against those events,” he pointed out.

“Wives of some other IAS officers had not only participated in the function but some of them had walked on the ramp, while the wife of Lucknow District Magistrate Chandra Bhanu was adjudged as the best dressed lady, but all that was overlooked by the government.”

Ansari, who was currently without a posting, went on to claim that the function at his house was organised by his wife in consultation with wives of other officers “including that of the chief secretary”.

Top officials of the state were of the view that Ansari has invited more trouble by attributing communal colour to the government’s order to shift him from his prized job.

“Section 12 of the All India Services Conduct Rules does not permit a bureaucrat to make any plea or representation on communal or casteist lines,” said a senior official in the department of personnel.

The official, who did not wish to be named, said: “Ansari’s plea was not only unbecoming of a seasoned officer, but was also bound to give a bad name to the elite Indian Administrative Service.”

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