Monday, November 05, 2007


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Rahul Gandhi fails to get engineer suspended
5 Nov 2007, 0104 hrs IST,Subodh Ghildiyal,TNN

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NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi may be destined to sack Central ministers and chief ministers. But at present, he is struggling to get an ordinary superintending engineer suspended for poor performance.

The first suspension order of the Gandhi family scion's political career has been blocked by the Mayawati government.

It has been three months since Rahul, now a Congress general secretary, suggested the punishment, but there is no indication yet that the UP government is going to heed it.

Rahul asked for the action in his capacity as chairman of the district vigilance and monitoring committee, Sultanpur. He is MP from the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, a part of which falls in the district.

Baburam, superintending engineer of Jal Nigam, was found wanting in his duties by the vigilance panel. A unanimous decision for his suspension and transfer, along with disciplinary action, was suggested.

The district magistrate of Sultanpur, Sanjay Kumar, made a recommendation to the principal secretary, urban development, UP, on July 27. But there has been no response.

UP minister Nakul Dubey could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. But insiders hint at "political reasons" behind the inaction. For BSP supremo Mayawati, it could be difficult to accept action against an official of the state government on the suggestion of a Congressman, even if he happens to be the heir apparent.

Sources said any unanimous decision of a district vigilance panel is usually accepted as the panel comprises legislators and panchayat chiefs cutting across party lines.

The Union rural development ministry could step in as the district vigilance and monitoring committees, which oversee rural development schemes, are its creation. Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh told TOI, "He should at least have been transferred. I will speak to the state government."

Baburam, the Jal Nigam engineer, seems no pushover. When the vigilance panel met on July 27, it was flooded with complaints against him. Shoddy work for installation of handpumps was a major complaint. It was found that while boring had been done in many places, heads of handpumps were not installed for as long as six months. Where money had been released for Poorvanchal Vikas Nidhi and discretionary funds of MPs and MLAs, the installation of pumps was left incomplete.


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