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Amendment to AIS cadre rules

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing amendment to AIS rules

Published : Jan 25, 2022 14:56 IST T+T-
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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao joined the growing list of Chief Ministers from non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled States who have unequivocally opposed the Narendra Modi government’s proposed amendment to the assignment rules of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao joined the growing list of Chief Ministers from non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled States who have unequivocally opposed the Narendra Modi government’s proposed amendment to the assignment rules of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers.

In a letter dated January 24, Chandrashekar Rao protested against the Modi government’s tinkering of the All India Service (AIS) cadre rules, terming the proposed amendment as violative of the Indian Constitution’s framework of cooperative federalism. Stating that the proposed amendments would strain Centre-State relations, the Telangana Chief Minister wrote: “The proposed amendment to the AIS cadre rules is nothing but amending the Constitution of India relating to the Centre-State relations. Instead of such a backdoor method of amending the AIS service rules, it should muster courage to amend the provisions by the Parliament.”

Under the proposed amendment to Rule 6 (deputation of cadre officers) of the Indian Administrative Service Rules, 1954, the Centre will no longer require a State government’s consent to requisition the services of an AIS officer to Central deputation. The Union Department of Personnel and Training has written to all the States seeking their opinion on this proposed amendment before January 28.

The Telangana Chief Minister termed the proposed amendment a dangerous move, amounting to interfering in the functioning of State governments, which, if implemented by the Centre, would reduce the States to insignificant entities.

Demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi desist from initiating the proposed amendment in the interest of administrative fairness, Chandrashekar Rao added that the move was aimed at indirectly controlling officers working in the States. Wrote the Chief Minister: “This is also targeted harassment of officers and their demoralisation besides impacting accountability of officers to the state governments. The state government would become helpless entities in AIS officers.”

Over the past few days, the Chief Ministers of several States such as West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Baghel, Tamil Nadu’s M.K. Stalin and Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren have also written to the Prime Minister demanding that the amendment be scrapped.

In his letter to Narendra Modi objecting to the proposed amendment, Stalin wrote: “The proposed amendments would cause irreparable damage to the spirit of cooperative federalism that exists between the union and the states and lead to concentration of powers in the union government. If implemented, the All-India Service officers would be spending their career under perpetual fear of being penalised by the Union Government at any time. [It would] certainly demoralise and destabilise the steel frame of bureaucracy in India.”

In his letter, Pinarayi Vijayan wrote: “The proposed amendments in the Deputation Rules of All India Services will definitely induce a fear psychosis and an attitude of hesitancy among All India Service Officers to implement policies of a state government, which are formed by party/parties politically opposed by the ruling party at the Centre.”

Mamata Banerjee alleged that the Modi government was hellbent on destroying the federal structure of the country. Wrote the Bengal Chief Minister: “How can the Centre play with our federal structure? How can it overrule the opinion and rights of duly elected State governments? The Centre should not do this.”

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