Patna: Close to 70 IAS and IPS officers were transferred in a sweeping shuffle early on Saturday in what is being seen as an attempt by chief minister Nitish Kumar to establish a firm grip over the bureaucracy and do away with the vestiges of the Grand Alliance regime with barely a year left for the Lok Sabha elections.
Among those transferred were 22 district magistrates and 17 superintendents of police.
But eyebrows were raised following the removal of Gaya senior superintendent of police Garima Malik, who was moved to the relatively low profile post of commandant of Bihar Military Police (BMP)-10 in Patna.
Malik was instrumental in the arrest and jailing of Rahul Kumar Manjhi, the son of BJP MP from Gaya Hari Manjhi, earlier this week over charges of flouting prohibition.
Nitish’s clinical strike on the administration is the first since parting ways with the RJD and Congress in July last year. It also indicates that he is gearing up for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, because as per Election Commission guidelines, no transfer can be effected six months before the elections.
Most of the IAS and IPS officials transferred had been posted during the Grand Alliance regime and, sources said, several of them were handpicked by RJD leader Lalu Prasad. A majority of them had been given postings at the state headquarters in Patna.
JDU and BJP leaders had been constantly pointing to the chief minister about the need to shuffle them as these top officials are responsible for not only day-to-day administration and law and order upkeep, but also revision of electoral rolls and deployment of forces during elections.
Additionally, 54 sub-divisional officers and 70 sub-divisional police officers and deputy superintendents of police across 101 sub-divisions of Bihar have also been transferred.
The Opposition RJD and Congress attacked Nitish for indulging in efforts to win the coming general elections with the help of officials.
Courtesy: The Telegraph