Rajgarh controversy refuses to die down in Madhya Pradesh. Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava who took to social media on Saturday to fiercely attack the administration, got it back from the Congress in equal measure.
Bhargava's lengthy post on Facebook not just sought to keep the embers smouldering it also carried an unusual threat. He said his acquaintance possessed eight damning videos of bureaucrats involved in the infamous honey trap case. But he did not want the investigation agencies sullying the name of the state. Bhargava taunted the IAS officers. "They (administrators) consider themselves Devpurush (angels) and project political leaders as dacoits.
The Congress leaders have hit back saying if Bhargav has the proof of some wrongdoing by the bureaucrats he should bring it to the notice of the Special Task Force (STF) of the state police instead of trying to keep threatening or blackmailing the bureaucrats. The very angels he is targeting in his comments were running the government during his party's 15-year rule.
Bhargava said: "There is a lot of discontent among the people about the elitist approach of the officers who consider themselves as angels and run down persons like Yadav. He said the very Constitution provided by Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar that gave the SC/ ST category IAS and IPS officers their position, was sought to be explained to the public by the people supporting the CAA and NRC. The snooty bureaucrats are offended by the public representatives.
The conflict that began Biaora town of Rajgarh early last week with district collector Nidhi Nivedita allegedly slapping an abusive leader, took an ugly turn when Former Minister and BJP leader Badrilal Yadav was arrested for vulgar remarks against the Collector on Friday. Bhargava along with former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP chief Rakesh Singh who were present during Yadav's outrageous speech have tried to defend him.
Bhargava wrote that in my 40 years' political life, I have seen these very officials who kowtow to ministers to get desired postings, act differently after changes in regime.
Some 'Devpurush' loot hard-earned public money and drinks with pretty women and gets caught in the trap. Then goes and spends crores of rupees for a video. Videos of about 8 such angels are with an acquaintance of mine. The obvious reference was to the honey trap videos that have put many politicians', bureaucrats and other influential persons' careers on the line. But was the leader of the opposition not blackmailing the administrators?
The IAS Officers Association had also criticised Badrilal Yadav for his offensive language against the collector of Rajgarh.
Another aspect of the Biaora incident was the passivity of the police when the trouble started over violation of Section 144 by the BJP workers. The IAS Officers Association feels a pro-active approach by the police could have prevented the situation from getting out of hand when the BJP workers attacked the collector and her deputy.
Some Congress leaders said the policemen were over-sympathetic to the protesters because they were recruited during the BJP rule.