Bengaluru: There’s nothing official about the functioning of officials in Mysuru district, the hometown of CM Siddaramaiah. Anyone who would like to have a hassle-free tenure, will have to go along with the tide-toe the line set by ruling party politicians and their close aides failing which they are sure to fall prey to the ‘transfer mania’ or even get abused.
When senior IAS officer Rashmi Mahesh, then head of the Mysuru-based Administrative Training Institute, was attacked about two years ago, most people thought it was an aberration. Than came the shocker involving another woman IAS officer, deputy commissioner Ms Shikha, who was publicly taunted by the CM’s trusted lieutenant Marigowda.
It has now become evident that the Mysuru bureaucracy suffers from the same malaise which Ballari was hit by when the Reddy mining lords held sway during BJP rule. Officials and politicians close to the power centre dictate terms no matter whether decisions made are legal or illegal and whether it really benefits the public.
And why was Marigowda, a former Mysuru ZP chief, not arrested despite a complaint by an IAS officer? “Marigowda is not a Veerappan who could have disappeared into the thick jungles. If they had made up their minds, they could have easily arrested him. But, officials in the DC’s office and the district police ganged up because they were allegedly handpicked and posted either by Mr Siddaramaiah himself or Dr H.C. Mahadevappa.
The lower rung postings were done at the behest of the powerful kin of the political leaders. Ms Shikha was isolated, so no action was taken against Marigowda who is reportedly now in Delhi,” sources said. Before the Marigowda episode, Ms Shikha would never entertain anyone barring those who had Mr Siddaramaiah’s blessings.
Now, she has stopped this too and attends only to ‘strictly legal’ matters. She is due for promotion in December. “Even though the CM camp is upset with her, they may not risk meddling with her promotion as it would expose their links with Marigowda,” sources said.
The latest episode involving district assistant statistical officer, births and deaths, Mysuru City Corporation, S.M. Venkateshmurthy, who has filed a petition at KR police station alleging harassment by the CM’s personal assistant in Delhi, Mr Mohan Kumar, Mysuru City Corporation Commissioner Dr C.G. Betsurmath and MCC health officer Dr Ramachandra, proves that many officers are functioning with their backs to the wall. Seniority hardly matters in this world of babus where proximity to the tops guns wins the day.
In Mr Venkateshmurthy’s case, one of those named in his complaint, Mohan Kumar, is a junior officer but considered close to Mr Siddaramaiah, Known as ‘Delhi Mohan,’ it is a known fact that Mohan Kumar wield a lot of power in Delhi’s Karnataka Bhavan. Sources said when the CM went to Delhi to finalise cabinet reshuffle, it was Mohan Kumar who arranged a fancy car for him just to keep his movements secret.
The caste factor has also cast its spell on the bureaucracy. In Chamarajnagar, the district adminstration is filled with Lingayat and Kuruba officials thanks to cooperation minister Mahadev Prasad. In Mysuru, Kurubas (the community of CM) and SC officials, the community of Dr Mahadevappa- occupy majority of posts. Officials belonging to other castes have been shunted out or given insignificant posts. That says a lot about bureaucratic efficiency!