Railway Ministry To Take Action Against Official For His "Defamatory Article" On Piyush Goyal & Other Board Members
An article has triggered the Railway ministry to initiate disciplinary action against Union minister Jitendra Singh’s OSD or Officer on Special Duty, Sanjiv Kumar, for attacking the reputation or integrity of its minister Piyush Goyal. The article authored by Kumar is said to have questioned the wisdom of senior government officials said an official document, reported NDTV. Action against Kumar has been sought over the “breach of official decorum and misconduct”.
Kumar, in his defence, says that he has given only “literary touch” to the views which were already in the public domain, according to The Indian Express.
What was in the article?
In the article, as per National Herald, Kumar compared the six members of Railway Board from six different divisions to six blind men from popular Indian fable “Six blind men and the elephant”. He alleged that these six members work to promote the interests of the particular divisions they work in. “Even if those six blind men can realise what an elephant looks like, the six blind men in Rail Bhawan can never understand national interest and the interest of Railways. They always keep the interest of their cadres above everything else,” he wrote.
He also wrote that commitment of the employees to the Indian Railways has gone down owing to ministry’s neglect of them.
He also seems to ridicule Railway minister Piyush Goyal, citing one of his interviews where he claimed that he has found the solution to all problems of the Railway ministry. The article suggests the appointment of people like Nandan Nilekani or Sundar Pichai as Railway Board chairman.
Letter seeking action against Kumar
Ranjanesh Sahai, who is the Railway Board Secretary has written to the Department of Personnel and Training, seeking for the immediate repatriation of Sanjiv Kumar. Kumar who is a 2005 batch officer of the Indian Railway Personnel Service is the Officer on Special Duty to Jitendra Singh. Kumar also holds several portfolios, which includes Prime Minister’s Office and for Development of North Eastern Region.
Sahai on his letter to DoPT said encircling the situation that the railway board has noticed about the misconduct of Sanjiv Kumar, IRPS. Sanjiv Kumar has written in the article in which he questioned those in authority about their capability. He also said that the Railway Board was being run by officers influenced by departmentalism.
He did not spare anybody, from senior functionaries to secretary to the government itself. He also stated that article casts aspersions on Minister of Railways (Piyush Goyal). Two websites, National Wheels and Rail Samachar have published the article.
Sahai in the letter dated December 28, 2018, also emphasised that misconduct of this nature and that too in the public domain will interpret the bad message and will foster indiscipline in the service. Sahai also assured that the Railway Board chairman approved the issue. Ashwani Lohani who was the Railway Board chairman retired on Monday.
The Railway Ministry has internally transferred officers before
Mr Kumar has been pointing out alleged ill-functioning of some wings of the Railway Ministry. The NDTV reported that an officer on anonymity said that things are not right in the Railway ministry. This requires immediate intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office. This, not the first time that an official is facing repercussion after speaking against the ministry. For instance, Chetan Prakash Jain, who was an executive director, Establishment (GC) has been appointed an executive director, Establishment (G), which officials say is a less significant charge. This was reportedly because he raised concerns on cadre-related issues.