Andhra Pradesh minister for minor irrigation T.G. Venkatesh wants lazy bureaucrats to be ‘shot dead’

Published on Jul 16 2012 // Political News

Andhra Pradesh minister for minor irrigation T.G. Venkatesh has virtually put his foot in his mouth by calling upon the people to gun down the bureaucrats who have no commitment to their work.

The minister made the comment while participating in an official function at Kurnool on Friday. “The IAS officers have become head strong. They believe that nobody can touch them. The authority has gone to their head so much that they are stalling developmental work by returning files with one query or another. The entire system will collapse even if a single IAS officer does not work properly. Such headstrong bureaucrats should be shot dead on the road,” he said. The minister’s comment triggered unrest among the IAS officers, who are already fretting and fuming at the government over the arrest of their senior colleagues B.P. Acharya and Y. Srilakshmi in the Emaar Properties and Obulapuram cases.

Following the minister’s remarks, a number of senior bureaucrats held an emergency meeting in Hyderabad on Saturday evening under the aegis of IAS officers’ association. They adopted a resolution condemning the statement, stating that such a loose talk of mob justice by the minister would lower the dignity of his own office, demoralise the bureaucracy and bring down the image of the government. “The association feels that the minister’s statement has the potential to incite the public and create law and order problems. The minister is duty bound to steer the affairs of the government in accordance with the law and the Constitution,” the association said.

Former Union energy secretary EAS Sarma on Sunday wrote a strongly worded letter to chief secretary Minnie Mathew, stating that Venkatesh’s statement amounted to an incitement to murder all those who failed to deliver. “It is a potentially dangerous statement that attracts criminal liability under the Indian Penal Code and the local police should take cognizance of it and prosecute him forthwith. If they fail to do this, it would amount to dereliction of duty,” Sarma said. When the matter was brought to the notice of chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, he said he had not read the comment but in any case “political leaders, especially ministers and MLAs, should have patience and hold their tongues while making comments”.

Venkatesh, however, defended his comments saying: “Instead of taking the literal meaning, one should understand my anguish behind the statement. I had to talk like that because I was fed up with the style of functioning of some officers.” Reacting to the demand from the IAS officers’ association for his unconditional apology, Venkatesh said he would apologise to the officers provided they admitted their fault.

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