August 13: CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta today claimed a senior Petroleum Ministry officer was transferred by Minister M Veerappa Moily for being “inconvenient” to him over the issue of the recent gas price hike and demanded withdrawal of the transfer order.
Dasgupta, who has been opposing the government’s decision to raise natural gas prices, said Moily has “decided to get rid of inconvenient bureaucrats who are standing up to him. By this order, the mala fide of the Petroleum Minister is completely established”.
He said by “abruptly” transferring the bureaucrat, who was Joint Secretary (Exploration) for over one-and-a-half years, “the government loses the expertise that the officer had gained in the subject.
“Further, entrusting this work to an officer who has been recently promoted as Joint Secretary by the present Petroleum Minister will ensure that the new officer shall only carry out the dictates of the Minister,” Dasgupta said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Maintaining that the bureaucracy was falling victim to “illegal dictates of political masters”, he said the transfer “provokes me to comment that honest officers are being victimized and pliable ones rewarded by the government, as the country has witnessed in the case of Durga Sakthi Nagpal and others.”
Referring to the Supreme Court’s observations on transfer of officers, Dasgupta said transferring officers who were carrying out their duty “with integrity and upholding public interest, in spite of unrelenting pressure from unscrupulous ministers, is a serious scandal”.