'More draconian': Don't go ahead with amendment to IAS (Cadre) Rules, Mamata urges PM again

More draconian: Dont go ahead with amendment to IAS (Cadre) Rules, Mamata urges PM again

Kolkata: Expressing her 'strong reservations' to the Centre's proposal to amend IAS (Cadre) Rules 1954, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday wrote yet another letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to withdraw the proposal claiming that the change in rules for Central deputation of IAS officers will affect the states' administration. She reiterated that it would "create a fear psychosis among officers and impact their performance".

She warned him of "greater movements" in case the Centre does not reconsider its decision.

"I humbly urge you to kindly reconsider this move by the central government and not to go ahead with the proposed amendments and request you not to push us to the points of greater movements on this issue to protect the soul of this great democracy that India is and has been (sic)," the CM wrote.

"I had written to you on this, conveying my strong reservations and objections to the Centre's draft amendment of the IAS Cadre Rules, on 13th January 2022, but I have to write again, further reiterating my points, because the Central Government has meanwhile further accentuated its stand, proposing yet another revised draft, taking the matter to further non-federal extremes," Banerjee wrote in her letter to the Prime Minister for the second time in seven days.

Requesting the Prime Minister not to take any step that will irreparably damage the spirit of mutual accommodation between the Centre and the state, she claimed that the amendment will "destroy" the federal polity and basic structure of the Constitution.

The Union government has proposed an amendment to IAS (Cadre) rules, which would enable it to post IAS officers on Central deputation, bypassing reservations of state governments.

"I find the revised amendment proposal more draconian than the former, and indeed its very grain is against the foundations of our great federal polity and the basic structure of India's Constitutional scheme.

"The moot point of the further revised draft amendment proposal is that an officer, whom the Central Government may choose to take out of a State to any part of the country without taking his/her consent and without the agreement of the State Government under whom he or she is serving, may now stand released from his/her current assignment forthwith," the Chief Minister wrote.

"The power proposed to be usurped by the Central Government by resorting to over-centralisation of powers is going to destroy the morale and freedom of the All-India Service officers. It is going to completely render them and all the State Governments at the mercy of the Central Government since the All-India Services serve as the backbone of a State's administrative machinery," Banerjee's letter read.

She further warned the Prime Minister that this kind of move will surely be misused by the party in power at the Centre. She reiterated that this would 'nullify India's Constitutional scheme in letter and spirit'.

In her earlier letter, too, Banerjee had expressed her reservations on the proposed amendments, insisting that it is against the "spirit of cooperative federalism".

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