Jaipur: A dalit IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre aspiring to become the state's chief Secretary today embraced Islam and applied for voluntary retirement alleging "victimisation" because of his caste after the incumbent top-most bureaucrat was given a three-month extension.
The Rajasthan government, however, trashed Umrao Salodia's charge that he was victimised because of his schedule caste origin as "baseless" and said a number of dalits occupied important positions.
"I am Chairman of RSRTC and Additional Chief Secretary for the last over four years and competent for the post of Chief Secretary but the present CS has been given 3 months' extension by the state government. Hence I cannot work under a junior," Salodiya, Chairman of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, said.
"I was under the impression that being a member of Scheduled Caste and a senior IAS officer I would be given a chance to work as Chief Secretary. I feel victimised. Hence I submitted three months notice of VRS to the state government," the Additional Chief Secretary rank officer said.
Umrao Salodiya, who will now be known as Umrao Khan, said "Now the state government has to take a decision on my VRS-cum -protest letter within three months. My retirement is due in June 2016." Incumbent Chief Secretary C S Rajan, who was to retire today, has been given three months extension by the Vasundhara Raje government.
The Rajasthan government, however, rejected Salodiya's charge and even hinted at action against him.
"Salodia has violated the All India Service Rules 1968 by crticising the government from a public forum. His allegations against the government are absolutely baseless. Raje government has never victimised anyone," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore told reporters.
He said that the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Kailash Meghwal, Chairman of RPSC Lalit K Panwar and Chairman of Rajasthan Subordinate and Ministerial Services Selection Board Ramkhiladi Meena come from SC/ST sections and there was no discrimination.
"As far as the extension of Chief Secretary for three months is concerned, it was done after the state government forwarded a proposal to Centre under rules. Earlier also, similar extensions were given to officers like Govind Mishra, M L Mehta and Anil Vaishya," he said.