BJP quizzes 'rush' to fill top positions

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday questioned the UPA government’s last hour “great rush” to fill vacancies in important departments on the eve of demitting office even though finance ministry officials clarified that the move was routine as two officials’ tenure was coming to an end.

Accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh government of showing “anticipatory filling of posts”, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said many officers were being shifted though vacancies are going to happen after May 16 when the results would be announced.
He expressed “deep distress” to note the transfers of officials especially in the ministries of commerce and finance.

But, Union finance ministry contradicted the BJP version on bureaucrat movements. According to a senior ministry official,  the tenure of joint secretary Nilay Mitash, in charge of Multilateral Institutions, and joint secretary P K Mishra, in charge of currency and coinage, are coming to an end shortly and that candidates are yet to be cleared to take fill the gap.

“This is completely against democratic propriety and political probity,” he said.

Prasad, however, did not reveal names of officials transferred in the two ministries but privately party leaders claimed that at least three officials in the finance ministry and another two in the commerce ministry are being moved out.

The main opposition party has been questioning appointments on key posts which started with the move to fill vacancies in Lokpal, but the government had to give up after stiff resistance.

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