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Delhi, Goa get united in distress

The nation's two prominent and progressive chief ministers Manohar Parrikar of Goa and Sheila Dikshit of Delhi have got been united in their distress caused by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Goa and Delhi share the cadre of All India Services (Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service taken together) officers along with Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and the remaining union territories. The management of this cadre is done by the home ministry.

Despite belonging to two different political parties, Parrikar and Dikshit have the same grouse against the home ministry: they have been troubled by a transfer spree of senior officials. Dikshit has repeatedly written to the home ministry for consultation before the senior officials 'crucial to the functioning of the government are posted out'. Sources close to Dikshit said that she told the home ministry, 'You are not being fair to governance.'

According to sources, with just 16 months left for polls, the Delhi government has allocated 63 per cent of its budget to social sector, which involves huge disbursal of funds through scholarships, pensions, food security schemes and healthcare programmes, among others. 'If 30 to 40 officers holding crucial positions get transferred in one go, these programmes will get hit, as the new officer will take time to acclimatise before they could execute the schemes,' Dikshit is believed to have told her party colleague and the home minister P Chidambaram.

Dikshit's Goa counterpart Parrikar, who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party, has taken a sterner stand vis-a-vis the MHA order on transfers. Expressing grouse similar to that of Dikshit, Parrikar has stated, '[The MHA] has power to post or transfer officers. This does not mean that they can deprive the state its right by taking decisions without consulting the state government.'

Ever since a senior IPS officer was relieved by the MHA and called back to Delhi without informing the Goa government, Parrikar has directed that IPS officers coming on posting to Goa will not be allotted postings till the time the MHA took cognizance of the issues raised by him. An IPS officer I B Rani, posted to Goa, had to return to Delhi after waiting for some time, as the state's home department refused to give her a posting.
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