New Delhi: Congress President and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday alleging gross misuse of government machinery in the country. Expressing concern over the misuse of government machinery by the ruling party, Kharge said, “This has to do with the gross misuse of government machinery taking place in the country today in service of the ruling political party. They are to be deployed as “Rath Prabharis” to “showcase the achievements of the last 9 years of Government of India. It is no coincidence that the last nine years correspond to your tenure in office. This is of grave concern for multiple reasons.”
The Congress President referred to a recent letter dated October 18, which states that senior officers of ranks as high as Joint Secretary, Director, and Deputy Secretary are to be deployed to all 765 districts of India. Kharge pointed out that it is a clear violation of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, which directs that no government servant shall take part in any political activity.
Moreover highlighting that the move by central government that the bureaucrats showcasing the achievements of the BJP government is a clear violation of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, Kharge said, “it is acceptable for government officers to disseminate information, to make them celebrate and showcase achievements blatantly turns them into political workers of the ruling party”.
The fact that only “achievements” of the last 9 years are being considered, gives away the fact that this is a transparently political order in the run-up to the five state elections and the general elections of 2024,” stated the letter.
Kharge expressed concern in his letter that if senior officers of departments are deputed for the marketing activities of the current government, “The governance of our country will grind to a halt for the next six months”.
He also referred to an order passed by the Ministry of Defence on October 9, directing soldiers on annual leave to spend time promoting government schemes, making them “soldier-ambassadors.”
“The Army Training Command, which should be focused on preparing our jawans to defend the nation, is busy preparing scripts and training manuals on how to promote government schemes,” Kharge alleged in his letter.
“It is of utmost importance in a democracy that the Armed Forces are kept out of politics. The loyalty of every jawan is to the nation and to the Constitution. To force our soldiers to become marketing agents of government schemes is a dangerous step towards politicisation of the Armed Forces,” Kharge further said in his letter.
The Congress Chief stressed that after many months or years of difficult service to our nation, our jawans deserve complete freedom on their annual leave to spend time with their families and restore energy for continued service. “Their leave must not be hijacked for political purposes.”.
“In both cases, of civil servants and soldiers, it is essential that government machinery be kept out of politics, especially in the months leading up to an election,” read the letter.
Kharge claimed that in addition to the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax Department, and the CBI already acting as election departments of the BJP, “the orders mentioned above put the entire government machinery to work as if they were agents of the ruling party”.
“All agencies, institutions, arms, wings, and departments are now officially ‘Pracharaks’,” Kharge alleged in his letter. “In view of protecting our democracy and our Constitution, it is imperative that the above orders are withdrawn immediately,” Kharge asked PM Modi in his letter.