When in an unprecedented move, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sacked Director General of Police (DGP) Mukul Goel, the news sent shockwaves down the state bureaucracy. It is in extremely rare circumstances that a sitting police chief is sacked.
Goel, a IIT alumnus and a decorated officer, was picked for the top post less than a year ago. Removed for ‘disregard of government duty’, ‘not taking interest in departmental work’ and ‘indolence’, Goel has now been transferred to Civil Defence as its director general.
The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court had taken strong exception to the IAS officers of Uttar Pradesh lacking a general understanding of rules and regulations. Emphasizing that the officers needed training, the High Court has ordered the UP government in this regard.
While talking about training of IAS officers in the Judicial Training and Research Institute (JTRI), the court had also said that training should be given to investigators and officers in charge of punishment.
However, the crackdown on bureaucrats is learnt to have come against the backdrop of a negative feedback from BJP grassroots functionaries, who sounded out the saffron outfit. The BJP rode to power on the promise of ensuring a “crime and corruption-free” government.
Beginning from the top most rank in the state police force, the clean-up came within a week after Yogi was sworn in as UP CM for a second term, suggesting that the party was in no mood to allow the opposition any opportunity to corner the party in the run-up to urban local bodies elections later this year and the Lok Sabha elections due in 2024.
Apart from Goel, OSD to the Chief Minister Abhishek Kaushik has also been sacked. Former IAS officer RN Singh has also been removed from the post of OSD. The grapevine has it that Shravan Baghel may be appointed the new OSD to the Chief Minister.
Sources say that the action against officials is the result of the presumably verified complaints from organisational workers, sending strong a signal to the administrative machinery to perform or to get punished.