The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jogi role model for MP mandarins

Bhopal, Aug. 27: Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi may have severed all ties with Madhya Pradesh but he continues to be a “role model” for its bureaucrats.

In election-bound Madhya Pradesh, Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service officers are quitting comforts of office to emulate the “Ajit model” of joining politics.

Almost every week, one or the other IAS or IPS officer is quitting to join the Congress, the BJP or the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Yesterday, Panna Lal, a 1974-batch IAS officer and additional director-general of narcotics, gave up his job to test political waters.

Lal was eyeing the BSP but dramatic political developments have forced him to toy with the idea of joining the BJP.

A few days ago, another additional director-general in Gwalior, Rustam Singh, joined the BJP.

Former state director-general of police Shakil Raza first joined the BJP but soon got disillusioned. He quickly approached chief minister Digvijay Singh with a bouquet of flowers.

Digvijay and the Congress were lukewarm, forcing Raza to side with the “third force” of the little-known Justice Party headed by Udit Raj, a former bureaucrat-turned-Dalit activist.

The state Congress is already packed with bureaucrats, with former state chief secretaries vying for honours.

On Sunday, Digvijay was witness to an uproarious scene at the hill resort of Panchmarhi where two deputy chief ministers — Subhash Yadav and Jamuna Devi — opposed involvement of former chief secretaries K.L. Sharma and S.C. Behar in the preparation of the Congress manifesto.

Even as Yadav and Devi used lungpower, Digvijay produced an AICC circular that approved the state Congress manifesto committee consisting of Sharma and Behar.

Yadav later alleged that Sharma and Behar have prepared a “blueprint” of the manifesto on behalf of the chief minister. “The Panchmarhi meet was called merely as a formality to get our seal of approval,” said Yadav.

Another secretary, Maan Dahima, quit the bureaucracy three months before he was slated to retire.

Dahima was looking after Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes and once in the Congress, he assumed the charge of its SC/ST cell.

The chief minister said he had no objection to bureaucrats joining politics as long as they keep themselves free of political affiliation when they are in service.

But most bureaucrats now in politics had made their political affiliations known before chalking out their future roadmap.

Jogi was collector of Indore in 1987 when he abruptly quit the office to join the Congress. He was drafted in the Rajya Sabha and rose to become AICC spokesperson.

When the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in November 2001, Jogi emerged as a dark horse to bag the coveted post of chief minister.

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