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Two bureaucrats embarrass government; Chidambaram, Azad in question

Author: CNN-IBN
Publication: IBNLive.com
Date: February 13, 2014
URL: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/two-bureaucrats-embarrass-government-chidambaram-azad-in-question/451700-37-64.html

As the UPA-II is nearing its end, it seems that trouble is brewing for the Congress government. Two senior bureaucrats have now come out against the government. A top bureaucrat had complained against Finance Minister P Chidambaram even as eyebrows were raised on the transfer of the Health Secretary.

First, Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna has claimed that Chidambaram humiliated him. Krishna has dashed off a letter to several bureaucrats as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath saying that Chidambaram told him at a meeting that he could not understand his English. Krishna further claimed that the Minister said he should speak in Hindi which his officers will translate for him in English.

In a complaint to Singh through Nath, Krishna said, "He (Chidamabaram) could not understand my English and told me that I should speak in Hindi which his officers will translate for him in English." Krishna alleged that Chidamabaram repeated the statement over and over in a "tone and tenor that was expressly humiliating".

The meeting was called to discuss release of additional central assistance for JNNURM projects that were already sanctioned but pending for release of funds by the Finance Ministry.

In the second and more serious instance, Union Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju has been shunted out. Sources have told CNN-IBN, Desiraju had opposed some appointments made by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. Azad was trying to bring back the controversial former Medical Council of India (MCI) chief Ketan Desai. However, Azad has called it a routine affair and said that no victimisation has taken place.

Sources also added that Desiraju took a tough stand on a company selling stents in India and Azad was also upset with Health Secretary for not being 'flexible'.

Former MCI chief Desai is credited with ruining medical education. In 2002, CNN-IBN had exposed how Desai sold medical seats to around 300 medical colleges. Desai used inspectors to fleece medical colleges - granting permission to many sub-standard colleges. The MCI was disbanded after this expose and a Board of Governors was formed to regulate colleges.

In 2013, CNN-IBN also reported that how Desai's aides are being brought back to MCI with help from the Health Ministry. Desai has returned to the MCI through the Gujarat Medical Council.
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