Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka has decided to wage a battle for seeking his “rightful” posting, insisting that his position is like a lieutenant general who is made to work as a brigadier. In the past few weeks, he has written a hard-hitting letter each to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Chief Secretary Depinder Singh Dhesi separately, asking them to give him his “proper posting”.
On the first day of 2016, Ashok Khemka received the news that he had been promoted to the post of Principal Secretary. However, three months on, he continues to work on the same post, that is, Director, State Archaeology and Museums Department.
Khemka wrote to CM Khattar in February asking him to direct the chief secretary to post him as principal secretary. When nothing happened, he wrote to the chief secretary in March. Thereafter, he went public and tweeted: “Awaiting posting on promotion for last 3 months. Holding a lower post is humiliating...”
Khemka’s letter to the chief secretary is on the same lines. “Arbitrary posting lowers the morale and sends a wrong message to honest and sincere officers and employees,” reads the letter to his boss. To further elucidate his anguish, he wrote to the chief secretary: “It is like forcing a lieutenant general in the Indian Army to work as a brigadier.” Although Khemka refused to comment on the issue, sources close to the officer said that he is not asking for a transfer or any prime posting, but requesting that his promotion be implemented.
Khemka is the same officer who had hogged the headlines when he nixed the land mutation between Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and a realty giant. Incidentally, only on Tuesday, that is, a day before Khemka’s tweet, Vadra had obtained a bit of a reprieve in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court had issued a notice to the Haryana government on a petition filed by the Vadra-promoted firm, Skylight Hospitality Private Limited, challenging a VAT notice from the state excise department. The court also restrained the state from taking any decision on the matter until the next date of hearing.