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Bihar govt asks officials to respect MPs and MLAs

Several public representatives had claimed that they were either made to wait for a long time by the officers or were not even offered a chair to sit while visiting offices
Tripurari Sharan.
Tripurari Sharan.
File picture

Dev Raj   |   Patna   |   Published 07.08.21, 01:19 AM

The Bihar government has instructed its officers to show respect towards public representatives after several legislators and even MPs complained that they were being allegedly treated badly by officials.

Bihar chief secretary Tripurari Sharan has written to all IAS and IPS officers pointing out that MPs, MLAs and MLCs bear an important place in the democratic system as representatives of the people and therefore, proper respect should be shown while dealing with them.


Several legislators and even MPs, belonging to the Opposition and the ruling parties, have been complaining about the alleged lack of respect and proper behaviour shown by the government officers when they went to meet them for work related to their constituencies or voters.

Many of them had claimed that they were either made to wait for a long time by the officers or were not even offered a chair to sit while visiting the offices. The applications and requests for various work were also not entertained.

Sharan has referred to the various rules formulated by different departments and the Lok Sabha with regard to the procedure that needs to be adopted if the public representatives approach the officers with regard to government-related work. “Violation of the directives shall be taken seriously. Their implementation should be reviewed in a time-bound manner,” the chief secretary said.

The chief secretary has also instructed the officers to show full respect to the public representatives, listen to them properly, receive and see them off during their visits, and invite them to government functions.

The matter came to a head recently when animal husbandry and fisheries resources minister Madan Sahni threatened to resign after alleging that the officers in his department were not listening to him. Though Sahni, the  Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) chief, relented afterwards, several other legislators from the ruling NDA came out in his support. They too alleged disrespect by top administrative officials in their day-to-day dealings. The issue was raised at an NDA meeting last month. All these allegations left the Nitish Kumar-led government in an awkward situation.

However, Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA and spokesperson Bhai Virendra termed the letter by the chief secretary an “eyewash”.

“There is no democracy, just bureaucracy in the rule of chief minister Nitish Kumar. Officers are constantly insulting the legislators belonging to the ruling and Opposition parties because they have no fear of any reprimand or punishment. On the other hand, Nitish keeps getting such instructions issued from time to time without any impact on the situation. These are just eyewash,” Virendra told The Telegraph.

Virendra said he also served as the chairman of the heritage committee of the Legislative Assembly, but principal secretaries of various departments would never come to the meetings when called and asked to attend.

“The principal secretaries of different departments would always make excuse that they were in the high court. It needs to be checked that if they are always in the court then what work are they doing,” he said.

A legislator belonging to Nitish’s Janata Dal United (JDU) said on the condition of anonymity that such a situation has happened because the chief minister reposed blind faith in the bureaucrats and neglected the public representatives belonging to even his own party.

“Years ago public representatives kept tab on the actions of government officers and would report to the ministers or the chief minister. Nitish Kumar did away with this system and gave a free hand to the bureaucrats, who now behave in an unchecked and untamed manner. This has eroded our authority. If we cannot get genuine grievances of our voters resolved, why would they vote for us?” the JDU legislator told this newspaper.

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