How Hooda divided babus to rule
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It couldn't prevent one of its own IAS officers from taking it to task on several issues, but the Haryana government, before it managed to pacify 1991-batch officer Ashok Khemka, adopted the divide and rule policy to rein in the bureaucracy.
As Khemka went hammer and tongs at the Bhupinder Singh Hooda led government, the responsibility to launch a counter offensive fell on the shoulders of Trilok Chand Gupta, the director of Town and Country Planning department and Financial Commissioner Sudeep Singh Dhillon, who was heading the department when all these decisions were taken.
The first Chief Administrator of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Gupta was later elevated as director, Town and Country Planning department following his predecessor Dhillon's elevation to the rank of Financial Commissioner of the same department. Both the officers had been at the helm of affairs ever since Hooda took over as the CM.
Now, when the department has landed in a major controversy, the state decided to make Gupta its pointsman, first to defend it on Robert Vadra-DLF land deal and later to take on Khemka. "It is nothing unusual. He has enjoyed the fruit and hence should now take the bitter pill too," a senior officer said.
It was under a strategy that Gupta wrote the letter to Chief Secretary PK Chaudhery on Wednesday saying Khemka's order cancelling Vadra-DLF mutation of a land deal contained "inaccuracies" and had been passed in "total disregard of administrative propriety".
However, Khemka on Thursday dismissed Gupta's contentions as a "red herring" and a "diversionary tactic." "My question is whether Gupta is an affected party in this case? Any party who feel aggrieved can approach the court," Khemka said.
Gupta in his letter had said if "he (Khemka) had asked our department to clarify the issues, he could have been 'educated' about the correct provisions of law."
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