Ranchi: The pressure that is being built in Jharkhand to make the state government take action against its Chief Secretary, RajbalaVerma, under normal circumstances would have been enough for her to either step down or to be unceremoniously removed. This has been happening in so far all the democratic set up. But in the case of Rajbala Verma, despite the opposition rallying for her removal along with one of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)’s minister Saryu Roy, demanding action in connection with Fodder Scam. Even the instruction given by the Prime Minister Office (PMO) in another corruption case, has not been followed by Raghubar Das’s government yet.
The major charges Rajbala Verma faces – not responding to 23 notices sent by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in relation with fraudulent withdrawal from Chaibasa treasury. Here the controversial 1983 batch IAS officer was serving as the District Magistrate (DM) of Chaibasa during 1990-91 when fraudulent withdrawals had been made from its treasury. In three similar cases, former Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav had to serve jail and is still behind the bars in fresh case.
The second allegation being that she along with another IAS officer Sukhdev Singh gave a clean chit to Puja SinghalPurwar, also an IAS officer. Allegedly, Purwar had sold out coal blocks to a private company. In this matter, even PMO has sent a letter on January 25, this year, instructing the Jharkhand government to take appropriate action against Rajbala and Sukhdev. The PMO had also sent a copy of the letter to the whistleblower Dilip Mishra who had written to both PMO and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
A fortnight has elapsed since the PMO sent across the letter and Raghubar Das is yet to take any action. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has also been filed in Ranchi High Court on the same issue by one Pankaj Yadav.
The chief secretary has also been accused of pressurizing a company to invest in her son’s business set up. The businessman had himself tweeted about. While the opposition leaders have been organizing press meets almost every alternate day, a senior leader of BJP and minister Roy has been speaking in public, asking the chief minister to act. Raghubar Das, being a leader of a party which came into power with the promise of tackling corruption by highlighting scams committed by Lalu Prasad or even Madhu Koda, former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, is yet to act. The present BJP government is also first full majority government since the state has been erected from Bihar.
Significantly, the 1983 batch IAS officer will retire on February 28 and it seems like Raghubar Das is waiting this time to pass. So, instead of action, people of Jharkhand may see the controversial chief secretary in a new constitutional post!