Kharge and JP Nadda clash over "politicisation of armed forces"text_fields
A political dispute has erupted between Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and BJP president JP Nadda over allegations of the politicisation of the bureaucracy and the armed forces.
The dispute centres on government orders directing senior officers, including those holding high ranks, to promote government achievements.
Kharge raised concerns over a government order dated October 18 that instructed senior officers to serve as "Rath Prabharis" in all 765 districts of India to "showcase achievements of the last nine years of Government of India."
He pointed out that the nine years corresponded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tenure and alleged that this directive violated Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, which prohibit government servants from participating in political activities.
He argued that while government officers may disseminate information, directing them to "celebrate" and "showcase" achievements transforms them into political workers for the ruling party.
The Congress leader also cited an order from the Ministry of Defence on October 9, which, according to him, instructed soldiers on annual leave to promote government schemes, effectively making them "soldier-ambassadors." He expressed concerns about the politicisation of the armed forces and argued that loyalty among soldiers should be directed toward the nation and the constitution, not political activities.
Responding to these allegations, BJP president JP Nadda defended the government's objective, asserting that the orders aimed to ensure public servants reached the grassroots and achieved the "saturation" of government schemes. He criticised Congress for opposing this approach, stating that public service delivery was the duty of the government.
Nadda also recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2019 allegation that the Gandhi family had used the Navy's INS Viraat for personal purposes, drawing a dig at the Congress.