West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing her “strong reservations” against the amendment to the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954, ANI reported. She asked Modi to withdraw the proposal as it upsets the “spirit of federalism”.

The Union Personnel Ministry amended existing service rules, purportedly to ensure that enough IAS officers are available for central deputation, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

According to the current rules, the Centre asks states for an “offer list” of All India Services officers who want to go on central deputation.

However, the amendment mandates that a certain proportion of officers available with the state be sent for central deputation. Also, in case there is a dispute between the Centre and a state over the deputations, the Centre’s say is final.

Banerjee said that the shortage of civil servants in a state, while they are on central deputation, will be detrimental to the assessment and planning of administration, ANI reported.

“Not only is the proposed amendment against the spirit of cooperative federalism but the same also upsets the time-tested harmonious arrangement which has existed between the Centre and States in the matter of posting of IAS-IPS officers,” she said.

Banerjee asked the prime minister not to replace the existing structure by making unilateral decisions.

“You have yourself served as a state chief minister for years and you, better than most, would appreciate the truth of what I am saying,” she said. “Please desist from allowing any dilution of these basic principles by such amendments. Hence, I request you to keep the federal span of Cadre Rules immolated by withdrawing/not giving effect to [the] proposed amendment.”