Rajnath Singh Meets UP Cadre IAS Officers, Opposition Sees Red
File photo of of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh and 14 other Union ministers felicitated 34 IAS officers from the Uttar Pradesh cadre on Wednesday, prompting Opposition parties to accuse the BJP of attempting to influence bureaucracy in the state ahead of next year’s assembly elections.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, MoS Health Anupriya Patel, MoS Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and MoS Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were present in the interaction that was labelled a “pep talk”.
Addressing the probationers of 2014 batch, Rajnath Singh reportedly said, "Most valuable thing you have is your reputation. Don't think if you go to place A from place B, people in place A won't know what you did in place B. Your reputation will travel faster."
Maneka Gandhi advised the young officers to give it their all to help people in their district. “It is easy to say no. But try not to say so," she reportedly advised them.
But Opposition leaders questioned the timing of the interaction as several young IAS officers serve as returning officers during elections.
“Hope eci will take note," Asauddin Owaisi tweeted, referring to the Election Commission of India.
Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi said, “The central government has only elections in sight. I have never heard of such a meeting before. It is unhealthy practice. The Election Commission of India should take note."
Anupriya Patel, however, dismissed the criticism, and said the officers were very young and would be in no position to influence the elections.
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