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Govt vs bureaucracy in Kerala?


Naveen Nair,CNN-IBN
Jun 20, 2007 at 02:26am IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Relations between ministers and the IAS top-brass in Kerala seem to be souring with a public spat between Dewaswom Minister G Sudhakaran and outgoing Principal Secretary Bharat Bhushan.

Sudhakaran alleges that Bhushan is corrupt and has asked the state Home Minister for a vigilance probe against him.

“There is no doubt that he (Bhushan) has mafia connections,” G Sudhakaran says.

Both have been at loggerheads with each other for over a week. The spat began over the findings of a vigilance probe into corruption allegations involving the Travancore Dewaswom Board, which administers temples including the one in Sabarimala.

Bharat Bhushan alleges that Sudhakaran took action on the report without consulting him. “The administrative department never even got a chance to see this report and the proceedings will be vitiated on that count,” he says.

Bhushan has now been reassigned to other duties but Sudhakaran has asked the state Home Minister to order a vigilance enquiry against the IAS officer.

The incident brings to light the growing strife between the LDF government and the state's bureaucracy. Chief Minister Achuthanandan's recent comments blaming state officials of inefficiency hasn't helped either.

However, retired bureaucrats say there is no cause for concern.

“I don't think there is a fight between the bureaucracy and government. The altercation between Sudhakaran and Bharat Bhushan should be seen as an insolated incident," former Chief Secretary to Kerala government, R Ramachandran Nair says.

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