The state government is crawling through the Facebook profile of IAS officer Ajay Singh Gangwar as a section of officers questioned its decision to transfer him. The transfer orders came after Gangwar posted pro-Nehru comments on the social networking site, while an earlier post allegedly criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also being used to justify the government’s actions.
Gangwar was removed as Barwani’s collector on the evening of May 26 after his comments praised former prime minister and Congressman, late Jawaharlal Nehru, defended the Gandhi family and attacked the saffron brigade. However, the transfer order by the chief secretary Anthony deSa didn’t mention the Facebook (FB) post. It only stated he had been transferred to Mantralaya as a deputy secretary.
The offending post which allegedly led to his removal reads: “Pls let me know the mistakes Nehru should not have committed…It was his mistake if he didn’t allow you to become a Hindu Talibani Rashtra in 1947..It was his mistake that he brought IIT, ISRO, BARAC, IISB, IIM, BHEL STEEL PLANT, DAMS, THERMAL POWER (sic).”
Official sources cited some of Gangwar’s earlier FB activity in which he spoke against the Prime Minister.
On January 23, 2015, the former collector reportedly ‘liked’ an anti-Modi post, and further commented: “Modi ke khilaph jankranti honi chaia (There should be a people’s movement against Modi)”.
Gangwar’s actions were in violation of the All India Service (conduct) Rules, 1968, the sources said, adding that the notice will mention the FB post too.
Speaking to reporters earlier after his transfer orders came, Gangwar said the FB posts were his personal opinion “meant for a discussion exclusively among Facebook friends and is a kind of satire”. “Some may agree and some may not. I don’t think expressing opinion on a subject in such a manner amounts to making a political comments and violates Central Civil Services (conduct) Rules,” he said. Within a couple of days of his transfer, some IAS officers came out in Gangwar’s support.
Additional commissioner, commercial tax, Rajesh Bahuguna wrote in his Facebook post, “Very few dare to stand (against the system) with truth and rationale to safeguard the basic values of democracy and humanity. I salute you, my friend,” allegedly in support of Gangwar.