Akhilesh Yadav govt transfers over 400 engineers on party leadersí orders

FP

In a move considered unprecedented even by the political benchmarks of Uttar Pradesh, more than 400 junior engineers in the state's Public Works Department were transferred last month in violation of the Akhilesh Yadav government's new transfer policy, a majority of them on the recommendation of Samajwadi Party politicians.

All 407 junior engineers (JEs) whose transfers were announced on August 9 were moved either following demands from SP leaders, including Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, ministers and MLAs, or personal requests from the engineers themselves, The Indian Express has found.

One transfer was even made following the recommendation of former minister Amarmani Tripathi, who is not in the SP and is in jail after being convicted of the murder of poet Madhumita Shukla.

SP leaders have sought to justify their transfer requests variously, some of which border on the frivolous or the ridiculous, according to the state's Diploma Engineers Association.

The transfer of many engineers has been demanded on grounds of poor conduct, unsatisfactory work or because they were appointed by the previous BSP government. On the other hand, some SP leaders want junior engineers to be moved to a particular position for their competence and good behaviour.

In some cases, SP leaders have sought the transfer of an engineer and later wanted it cancelled for an entirely different reason. Some also mentioned the specific posting a JE should get. Others commented on the performance of JEs who were not even posted in their areas before seeking their transfer.

In one case, 10 contractors lobbied for the transfer of a JE and were supported by a minister and a SP MLA. But another SP leader backed the engineer and stalled the transfer.

The following are some examples of the free-for-all:

Minister of State for Labour and Employment Shahid Manzoor asked PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav to transfer five JEs from his Meerut division because "they have been posted for past 12-14 years and their functioning and behaviour is not good".

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