‘Did not commit any mistake as to feel sorry and tender an apology’
‘Anti-Corruption Bureau targets only lower rung employees’
Cabinet concerned over ‘delaying tactics’ of officials
HYDERABAD: Marketing Minister M. Mareppa has refused to take back his observations about IAS and IPS officers and rejected the demand made by the IAS Officers’ Association to apologise.
Talking to reporters here on Friday, he said he did not commit any mistake as to feel sorry and tender an apology. There were very good officers among them like A. V. S. Reddy who worked for people, he said, describing S. R. Sankaran as “a real mahatma”.
Mr Mareppa clarified that he had only remarked that 50 per cent of the IAS and IPS officers were not working properly and their response to the problems cited by people was wanting. He had also said the Anti-Corruption Bureau targeted only lower rung employees and that the IAS officers delayed the clearing of files when these employees sought to absolve themselves in the ACB cases. The Minister said he did not dub the IAS officers as corrupt as reported in a section of the press.
He recalled that the erstwhile Vigilance Commissioner and an ex-IAS officer R. C Samal, in his personal document, observed that 70 per cent of the IAS officers were corrupt while Lok Satta leader N. Jayaprakash Narayana said their ratio was 80 per cent.
Cabinet backs Minister
Close on the heels of the Minister coming out openly accusing bureaucrats of delaying the Government programmes on ‘flimsy’ grounds, including the poll code, the State Cabinet meeting on Friday expressed serious concern at what it called ‘delaying tactics’ of officials.
Hours after the IAS Officers Association gave a strongly worded reply to Mr. Mareppa’s outburst against IAS officers, some Ministers bitterly complained how some officials were bringing to a halt the ongoing development and welfare programmes on the slightest pretext that it would amount to violation of the election code.
Notwithstanding the demand for unconditional withdrawal of the remarks by the bureaucrats, Mr. Mareppa’s colleagues stood by him firmly. Mr. Mareppa had on Wednesday alleged that 50 per cent of the officials did not work and some of them discriminated against officers belonging to weaker sections. In a sharp reaction, the IAS Officers Association had termed the remarks ‘untrue and in extreme bad taste’.
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy expressed displeasure at some officials bypassing their seniors. He directed Chief Secretary P. Ramakanth Reddy to ensure that all the communication with the EC was brought to his notice. He wanted officials to see that there was coordination among the seniors officers. He also made it clear that the ongoing welfare and developmental programmes could not be stopped on the grounds of poll code.
He was reacting when Finance Minister K. Rosaiah, Energy Minister Md. Ali Shabbir and Tribal Welfare Minister D. S. Redya Naik raised the issue of the attitude of certain officials.
Mr. Shabbir pointed out that Ministers and other elected representatives were prevented from attending programmes in areas, which were not going to the byelections.
Mr Redya Naik is reported to have complained that payment of bills for the ongoing housing programmes had been stopped.