A first Information Report has been lodged against 11 BJP MLAs on Thursday at Hare Street police station (PS) on charges of allegedly disrespecting the national anthem within the Assembly campus.
The BJP cornered the state government for appointing a 1987-batch IAS officer as Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister, who had been removed from the post of Chief Secretary in the previous Jai Ram Thakur-led state government.
Talking to the media here on Tuesday, BJP Himachal Pradesh General Secretary Trilok Kapoor expressed surprise at the appointment of Ram Subhag Singh, who retired on 31 July, as Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.
Showing the video of the Assembly Session of August 11, 2022, he accused the government of appointing the same bureaucrat on whom Sukhu had leveled serious allegations during a discussion in the house when Sukhu was in opposition and the BJP was in power.
The then Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had already taken action against the bureaucrat and removed him from the post of Chief Secretary on 14 July 2022, which the public knows, he said.
“The appointment of Ram Subhag Singh raises questions. How come he has been purified by this state government,” he questioned taking a dig at the stand taken by Sukhu.
“We have no personal hostility against the said IAS officer, but today the Chief Minister has also appointed the same officer as Principal Advisor, giving him an extension of one year in his office. The decision that has been taken clearly shows that there is something fishy,” he charged.
Questioning more appointments, Kapoor said that despite Himachal Pradesh struggling under financial burden, the state government has appointed 2004 batch IAS officer Amitabh Awasthi as the first chairman of the Water Cess Commission.
“After his retirement, he has taken charge of the post of Chairman of the Water Cess Commission and along with him, three members have also been appointed. These include retired Chief Engineer of Electricity Board HM Dhareula, Shimla Congress Committee President Arun Sharma and Shimla resident Joginder Singh Kanwar,” he said.
Water cess has been imposed by the state government on the water used to generate electricity in power projects and a law has been made for this that has made a provision for a chairperson and four members in the commission, he said, adding that three members have been appointed by the government, while one is yet to be appointed.
“The salary and allowances for the appointments to be made in this commission were notified on 24 June, 20223. The salary of the Chairman is Rs 1,35,000 per month, while the salary of each of the members is Rs 1,20,000,” said Kapoor.
He further alleged that the retired officers being appointed are putting the burden on the state exchequer.