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Chandigarh retains `upright' officer

Rajesh Ahuja

UT administration pays no heed to pressure from Congress faction


  • Arun Kumar had declared war on corruption
  • Governor firm on retaining the officer

    CHANDIGARH: The Union Territory administration has taken a firm stand to retain a Haryana cadre officer as the Deputy Commissioner because of his "clean and upright image'' despite pressure from a faction of the Congress to get him repatriated to his parent State.

    The former Haryana Chief Minister, Om Parkash Chautala, had agreed to the UT Administration's request to retain Arun Kumar, who unleashed a war against corruption and encroachments, for one more year. However, with the change of guard in Haryana, the faction owing allegiance to the local Member of Parliament, Pawan Kumar Bansal, is understood to have brought "pressure'' on the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Government to recall the officer to Haryana.

    According to insiders, a stand-off prevails as the UT Administrator and Punjab Governor, S.F. Rodrigues, and another faction of the Congress headed by the local unit chief, B.B.Bahl, wants Mr. Kumar to remain in the UT as per the original extension granted to him which had the approval of the Union Home Ministry.

    It is learnt that General Rodrigues, a former Chief of the Army Staff, has talked to the Centre on this issue and made it clear that he wants Mr. Kumar to continue to play a key role in his Administration.

    The UT Administration is understood to have written to the Haryana Government that it would appoint a UT cadre official as the DC in case it repatriated Mr.Kumar.

    Till now, the precedent has been to post a Haryana cadre IAS officer as the DC of Chandigarh.

    According to highly-placed sources, the DC became "controversial'' after he not only carried out extensive demolition drives to clear encroachments but also took a firm stand in dealing with complaints of alleged "misuse of authority'' by the former Chairman of the Market and Panchayat Samiti Committees, Bhupinder Singh Badheri, believed to be a close associate of the local MP.

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