Monday, May 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Maya retains Home, Finance
Biswajeet Banerjee and PTI

Lucknow, May 5
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati tonight retained Home, Finance and Information while allocating portfolios to her ministers.

Ms Mayawati also retained Information Technology and Personnel among others, according to an official communique here.

Senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon gets Urban Development, Tourism, Labour, Institutional Finance, Milk Development and Panchayati Raj.

BSP leaders Naseemuddin Siddique has been allocated Transport, Environment and Excise while Mr Ramveer Upadhayaya gets Energy and Medical Education.

RLD Minister Anuradha Chaudhary has been allocated the important portfolio of PWD.

Mr Kailash Nath Singh Yadav and Mr Indrajit Saroj (both BSP) have been given Science and Technology, Social Welfare, Women Welfare and Child Development, respectively.

Among the ministers of state (independent charge) BJP’s Sheema Rizvi and Akshaibar Gaur were allocated Electronics and Homeguards, respectively, while BSP’s Anees Ahmed Khan and Ram Bhual Nishad have been given Agricultural Education and Backward Welfare.

Mr Sukhadev Rajbhar has been given Parliamentary Affairs and Sericulture, Swami Prasad Maurya (BSP) — Khadi and Village Industries, Lalji Verma (BSP) — Public Enterprise, Dharam Veer Singh Ashok and Jagadish Narain Rai (both from BSP) Prison and Pension and Small Industries, respectively.

BJP leaders Hukum Singh and Ram Prakash Tripathi have been allocated Agriculture and Cooperative portfolios.

In the past two days of her rule, Ms Mayawati has transferred 25 IAS officials and speculations are rife that more transfers are likely to come in the next few days.

The working in the state secretariat has come to a “standstill” as a senior IAS official said everyone was waiting for transfer orders. Those who had political godfathers were pulling strings to get plum postings, while the rest were waiting for the ultimate outcome, he said.

Shuffling of bureaucracy is not new for Ms Mayawati. In her past two tenures, one of which lasted for 137 days and the other for 180 days, over 400 bureaucrats were transferred in each “innings”. In her past regime starting between March 21 and September 21, 1998, she transferred 467 IAS and IPS officers. If the number of state service officials, engineers and doctors were added than the number would go up to 2,000, said the official.

The Chief Minister knows that the bureaucracy is gripped by a fear psychosis. In her first press conference, after being sworn in as CM, she gave enough indications of the state of things the bureaucracy has to face in the coming days. The bureaucracy trembles at my name,” she thundered and added: “Because, it knows I will punish inefficient bureaucrats and reward those who will do exceptional work.”

The state bureaucracy does not believe Ms Mayawati on her face value. Officials argue that for Ms Mayawati the yardstick to measure officials’ efficiency is caste, not work.

They are not off the mark. Of the 25 transfers carried out in the past two days, 10 officials are Dalits and six belong to the most backward class (MBC). She made a Dalit officer, Mr P.L. Punia, as her Principal Secretary. Besides, Mr Punia, there are three more Dalit officers posted in the CM’s secretariat. She even appointed a Dalit as her Appointment Secretary.

Of the 19 officials transferred yesterday three Dalit officers were given plum positions. One of them, Mr Ram Kumar, who was suspended by the then Chief Minister, Mr Ram Prakash Gupta, on corruption charges and shunted to a non-descript post, was rehabilitated and made Secretary, Minor Irrigation and Rural Engineering Services.

Mr Ram Kumar’s case is not a solitary example. There are other IAS officials like Mr Dharmendra Singh and Dr Raja Ram, who are facing corruption charges and have got better postings.

The allies of the BSP have already started resenting this ongoing reshuffle of the bureaucracy. One of the ministers from the BJP said the Chief Minister should have allotted portfolios before carrying out the transfers.

The issue of transfers would be raised in the co-ordination committee meeting, he said.


Jawan, 3 Pak intruders killed

Srinagar, May 5
Seven militants, three of them Pakistani intruders, and a jawan were among 11 persons killed in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, a police spokesman said.

The three Pakistani intruders were killed when security forces foiled an infiltration bid near the Line of Control in Poonch district today, the spokesman said, adding that a jawan was also wounded in the exchange of fire.

Rizwan Qamar, alias Abu Hafiz, a militant belonging to Pak-based Lashker-e-Toiba was killed in an encounter with army at Shopian in Pulwama district. Two militants were killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Dhok Wali village in Poonch early today .

Another militant was killed in an encounter with security forces at Mutgala in Udhampur district.

Army jawan Ram Karan Singh was killed in an exchange of fire with militants at village Bhelti, 8 km from Doda town.

Fayaz Ahmad Mir was killed when he was caught in a cross-fire between ultras and security forces in a village in Baramulla.

The police found the body of a shopkeeper, abducted by militants last night, at Hanjipora in Pulwama.

Militants barged into the house of Solayman in the Khous area in Rajouri district and shot him dead.

Security forces arrested two Hizbul Mujahideen militants here and seized some arms and ammunition.

Meanwhile, with the recovery of three more charred bodies of militants and a weapon from the debris of gutted houses, the 72-hour search operation following an encounter in the old Baramulla town of Jammu and Kashmir was called off today, official sources here said.

The recovery of the three charred bodies raised the number of militants killed in the operation, lasting nearly 30 hours since Thursday evening, at the Syed Karim area to six.

JAMMU: Wheat crop standing in 2,000 acres was burnt when Pakistani forces indulged in unprovoked firing in the Ranbir Singh Pura area along the international boundary (IB) in Jammu district late last night.

Official sources said standing wheat worth several lakhs was burnt in Kotli, Hansachak, Allah-Mai-De-Kothe, Fetehpur, Sangral, Mangral, Salarian, Chak Jangu, Manahasan, Kharkhola and Shahpur villages in R.S. Pura sector when Pakistani troops fired several rounds on the Border Outposts (BOPs) and villages. PTI, UNI


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