'Dangerous practice that threatens democracy': Cong slams govt over decision to use officers as 'rath prabharis'

NewsDrum Desk
06 Nov 2023
New Update

New Delhi, Nov 6 (PTI) The Congress on Monday slammed the Narendra Modi government over its decision to deploy senior bureaucrats as "rath prabharis" for its Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, alleging that it was a "blatant use" of officers for "what is essentially a programme to implement one-man's personal political propaganda".


Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the party will pursue all options to put an end to this "completely unacceptable and dangerous practice that degrades and threatens our democracy".

Ramesh shared on X a media report which said that after the Election Commission notice, the central government has notified "prabharis" for non-poll bound states.

The Election Commission late last month had asked the government not to carry out the proposed Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, its mega outreach programme on schemes and initiatives, in the five election-bound states till December 5.


In his post, Ramesh said, "While it is welcome that the @ECISVEEP has acted on the complaint of @INCIndia and forced the Modi govt to backtrack on sending senior bureaucrats as 'Rath Prabharis' to poll-bound states, the larger issue of the blatant use of officers for what is essentially a programme to implement one-man's personal political propaganda remains." "It is clear now that the PM is in no mood to heed to @kharge-ji's letter to him on 22nd October to keep civil servants and soldiers out of politics," the Congress general secretary said.

Earlier, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had written to Prime Minister Modi, alleging that the government's recent orders asking officials to "showcase" the achievements of the last nine years would lead to "politicisation" of the bureaucracy and demanded their withdrawal.

The Congress had also cited an order dated October 18 of the Department of Revenue in the finance ministry regarding the nomination of officers of the ranks of joint secretary, director and deputy secretary pertaining to various services to be deployed as "rath prabhari" (special officers) in each of the country's 765 districts, covering 2.69 lakh gram panchayats.

The order mentioned an internal order of the agriculture secretary of October 14 regarding showcasing or celebrating the achievements of the last nine years of the Modi government through the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra proposed to be organised across the country for disseminating information, awareness and extending services at the gram panchayat level from November 20 to January 25.

"In order to coordinate for the preparations, planning, execution, monitoring of the Rath Yatra, they have decided to deploy joint secretaries/director/deputy secretaries of Government of India as Rath Prabharis (special officer)," the order read. PTI ASK SMN