Postings first major challenge for new government

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Bangalore: With the new government getting down to business on Monday with the swearing-in of Siddaramaiah as Chief Minister of the State, top civil servants will begin lobbying to secure plum postings.

Transfers of hundreds of officials were withheld following announcement of the Assembly elections and enforcement of the model code of conduct. With the Congress coming to power, several Group A, B, and C cadre officials have already started meeting the Chief Minister-designate and legislators of the ruling party for postings in departments such as Energy, Public Works, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Urban Development, Infrastructure Development, Industries and Commerce, and Water Resources, a senior IAS officer told The Hindu on Saturday.

Retired Additional Chief Secretary K Jairaj told The Hindu that “bringing in discipline in the government is the first major challenge for the Chief Minister. Transparency in the administration is nothing but good governance.”

May and June being the transfer season, the Congress government has enormous task in hand in the next few weeks. Since the BJP government was voted out primarily on account of serious charges of corruption and irregularities, postings of senior officers with clean image and integrity will be a daunting task for Mr Siddaramaiah, a senior IAS officer said.

Generally, transfers are high in the first year of the new government. During the first year of the S.M. Krishna Government in 2000-01, transfers reached a level of 54,341. Group ‘C’ workers, including teachers, health workers and others, account for 73 per cent of transfers as recorded in 2000-01. Major departments, including PWD, Police, Irrigation, Commercial Taxes, Public Instruction, Agriculture and Forestry, accounted for 67 per cent of all transfers in 2000-01.

The highest number of transfers took place in the first year of the M. Veerappa Moily Government in 1992-93 (close to 58,000).

In 2004, during the Dharam Singh government, 24,169 officials were transferred while in 2005 the number reached to 34,160. The H.D. Kumaraswamy Government transferred 44,402 officials in 2006 and 25,402 in 2007. A total of 69,804 civil servants were transferred during the 20-month rule of the Janata Dal (Secular)-BJP government, according to papers placed in the State legislature. A total of 15,153 officials were transferred during the one-week rule of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and later by President’s rule in 2007-08.

The BJP government, which came to power after 2008 Assembly elections, headed by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa continued frequent transfers of IAS, IPS, KAS and other cadre officials. During JD(S)-BJP coalition and BJP governments, the transfer of teachers continued beyond the transfer season and outside the purview of cadre management authorities for A, B, C, and D category posts, a retired IAS officer said.

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