The Telegraph
Saturday , February 8 , 2014
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Parveen theory finds few takers

Patna, Feb. 7: People who have been in the thick of running the administration have little sympathy for Parveen Amanullah.

“In my 40-year experience in the administration, I have found that most files get stuck at the ministerial level. The number of files getting stuck at the level of the chief minister’s office is minimal,” said former chief secretary of Bihar and Jharkhand V.S. Dubey on Friday.

He added that most ministers hide their failures by blaming bureaucrats and the chief minister’s office. Bureaucrats justify their role in putting up notes on the files of ministers.

“After seeing the note of the minister, we put up notes in accordance to our opinion and experience on what can be done and what cannot be done. If the minister disagrees, he can put another note and reject the official’s view. It will be the saddest day for the administration if officials toe the minister’s line,” said an IAS officer, recalling that during the BJP-JD(U) rule, he had opposed his minister’s move to waive off taxes on the fishermen community.

He added that officials must go by the rules and not what the minister says.

“The minister after all is a politician and has many constraints such as his voters, constituency and party. We cannot behave like politicians,” the officer said.

Three-time chief minister Jagannath Mishra said Amanullah had no issue in hand when she was a minister in the Bihar cabinet.

“She did not raise any matter in the cabinet. She quit and joined AAP. If there is any difference between the minister and the department’s secretary on policy matters, the file goes automatically to the chief minister. The chief minister’s job is to co-ordinate. The government being run, after all, is his. He has the right to disagree with the minister,” Mishra said.

Former Union home secretary R.K. Singh, who had a problem with Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde during his tenure and later joined the BJP, although said there are complaints of inaccessibility to the chief minister and his style of functioning.

“If Parveen Amanullah says she felt suffocated, then who is responsible? Perhaps, she did not feel confident in fighting elections on a JD(U) ticket. However, having said all this, the system is very clear. The elected government has the final say,” he said.