Letter hints at pairvi rise
Patna: Retired bureaucrats believe the circular issued by the Nitish Kumar government asking IAS, IPS and IfoS (forest service) officers not to pursue their personal matters by contacting the chief minister's secretariat is the result of increasing pairvi or canvassing by a section of senior officials and the political leadership.
They said such provisions already exist in the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, and hence there was nothing extraordinary about the letter issued by the general administration department that has caused a flutter in bureaucratic circles.
Former chief secretary of Bihar and Jharkhand, Vijay Shankar Dubey, told The Telegraph: "The fact that a letter had to be issued by the CM secretariat reveals that cases of canvassing, especially by political leaders, must have increased manifold."
"The government here is of an alliance, and not of a single party, so canvassing must have increased. The number of officers with different ideologies also must have risen," he added.
Dubey said the pairvis by bureaucrats are normally for transfer, better posting, rectifying adverse remarks in annual confidential reports, departmental proceedings, promotion related matters, as well as awards or commendations.
Another retired bureaucrat said that normally officers take the help of senior politicians with regard to their personal matters stuck at the CM's secretariat instead of moving on their own.
"Previously there were hardly two to five per cent bureaucrats who would have the temerity to approach the CM secretariat for personal matters. When I came to know about the letter, my first thought was what is happening in our service. Is there so much deterioration? Has canvassing touched such high levels," the former officer, who requested anonymity, said.
The retired bureaucrat added that normally the chief minister doesn't deny earned leave to senior officials if their file reaches him.
Office-bearers of the IAS Officers' Association's Bihar branch, refused to comment on the issue.
However, a serving IAS officer said on the condition of anonymity: "The letter is dictatorial in nature. Though it has been issued under the signature of a relatively junior official, it seems to be the handiwork of some senior and arrogant official. The CM is our boss and we should have the right to approach his office with legitimate issues or problems."
The officer pointed out that service code and conduct rules are already in place and there was no need for such a letter. "In my opinion, it is political leaders, legislators and ministers who indulge in their own canvassing to get officers who are either pliable, submissive or conducive to their designs," he said.