Himachal Pradesh’s new chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has announced a review of all recent decisions by the previous government and also ordered the sacking of officials who were re-employed or given extensions, prompting the BJP to accuse him of “vendetta”.
According to the orders issued on Monday night, the services of heads and members of boards and committees have been terminated with immediate effect and recruitments for government jobs — unless done through the state recruitment board or commission — put on hold.
The new Congress government also scrapped notifications for the creation and upgradation of institutions and sought fresh proposals. However, these orders do not apply to government medical colleges and health institutions.
Sukhu told reporters that a five-member committee reviewed the notifications for opening and upgradation of institutions — apparently referring to educational institutes — and found that these were opened only on paper and were non-functional.
The previous BJP government issued the notifications without any budget provisions. Fresh proposals will be sought for consideration and institutions opened as per the need, Sukhu added.
“Officials told me that the BJP government ordered the opening of these institutions as it was an election year,” said Sukhu, who also directed the officers not to issue any fresh appointment letter or notice inviting applications for para pump operators, para filters, multipurpose workers, para cooks and para helpers.
“The BJP government had termed the previous Congress government as a government of ‘tired and retired’ and then itself gave re-employment and extension,” he said.
Sukhu’s orders have not gone down well with the BJP with former chief minister Jai Ram Thakur saying the party served the public for five years without any discrimination.
“We did not overturn any decision of the Congress government, did not stop any development work, but regret that the Congress government has started working with a sense of vendetta,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Speaking to reporters in Shimla on Tuesday, the BJP’s state unit spokesperson Randhir Sharma said the new institutions had been opened and older ones upgraded for the benefit of the general public and denotifying these was an anti-public act.
He also called the order “an act of vengeance” and asked Sukhu to reconsider the move, saying the development works were started in the public interest.
The BJP will raise its voice against the anti-public decisions of the Congress, Sharma cautioned, and termed the decision as “unfortunate and dictatorial”.
According to the orders, the Jal Shakti engineer-in-chief directed all officials of the department to restore foundation/inauguration stones damaged due to any reason.
The government has also sought details of all foundation stones laid by the previous government during the last six months since June 1 to be submitted to the Chief Minister’s Office by December 15.
All pending tenders under process will be put on hold and no work awarded under any circumstances till further orders and no fresh tender will be invited, the order said.
Sukhu took oath as chief minister on Sunday after the Congress last week wrested Himachal Pradesh from the BJP, winning 40 seats in the 68-member House.
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