West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday once again wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, re-emphasising her problems with the proposed changes to the Indian Administrative Services (Cadre) Rules, ANI reported. She urged him to withdraw the “draconian” amendments.
Earlier this week, Banerjee had expressed her “strong reservations” to the amendments, which she said upset the “spirit of federalism”.
The Union Personnel Ministry amended existing service rules, purportedly to ensure that enough IAS officers are available for central deputation. In case there is a dispute between the Centre and a state over the deputations, the Centre’s say is final.
The Centre has further amended rules through another proposal, News18 reported. It states that if the Centre seeks an officer “in specific situations” and “in public interest”, the state should give its decision on time. If the state administration fails, the officer will be relieved from cadre when the Centre specifies.
Banerjee on Thursday said that the consequences changes were “permanent” and “irreversible”.
“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 quite apart from such usurpation being unconstitutional on the face of it,” she wrote in the letter.
Banerjee said that the officers and the state administration will be completely at the mercy of the Centre.
“It will create fear psychosis which is bound to impact their performance, effectiveness and accountability to the State Government,” she wrote.
The West Bengal chief minister also said that the proposed amendments could be misused by the political party at the Centre.
“We at the helm of governance in the country should not get misled by immediate gains which may sound tempting but have the potential of causing damage for all times to come,” she wrote. “This will essentially nullify India’s constitutional scheme in letter and spirit.”