Published On: Tue, Sep 1st, 2015

Modi govt needs to justify frequent removals of top bureaucrats from posts

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government needs to justify the frequent removals of top bureaucrats from top posts.

Rajiv Mehrishi taking charge as Home Secretary in New Delhi on August 31, 2015.

Rajiv Mehrishi taking charge as Home Secretary in New Delhi on August 31, 2015.

Former Home Secretary L C Goyal is the latest in the line of many senior bureaucrats in the government machinery whose tenures were curtailed.

It’s fine to argue it’s the government’s prerogative to appoint officers in key posts, but the lack of reasons being cited for the surprise exits will not auger well for the government.

In the case of Goyal, it’s ironic his exit was similar to his predecessor Anil Goswami who faced charges of impropriety for allegedly making attempts to stall the arrest of politician Matang Sinh in a CBI case.

Sinh was said to be close to Goswami. Both home secretaries have opted for voluntary retirement.

Goyal is the new addition to the list of bureaucrats whose tenures were curtailed. Former Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, former DRDO chief Avinash Chander and former Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram who was succeeded by Rajiv Mehrishi – now the Home Secretary – were the others.

What is intriguing in Goyal’s case is he was appointed as Home Secretary in February, after the Goswami controversy, but in seven months the government felt the need for a replacement.

The official line taken is that it was Goyal’s personal decision but the man never showed any sign of giving up the job at any time. While there are a series of reasons being speculated for his removal, the fact that his successor has been given the Home Secretary’s job on the day of his retirement cannot be just a coincidence.

It is clear Goyal had to make way for Rajiv Mehrishi, considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be at the helm of affairs in the Home Ministry.

We can only hope there are no personal reasons cited for his voluntary retirement a few months down the line and he completes the two year tenure.

Inputs with Mail Today

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