‘IAS rule change against very roots of federalism’: Tamil Nadu, Kerala shoot letters to PM Narendra Modi

Kerala and Tamil Nadu joined West Bengal to oppose Centre’s proposed changes to IAS (Cadre) deputation rules, writing separate letters to PM Narendra Modi. While Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that change in rules will bring “fear psychosis” amog officers, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin that same strikes “strikes at the very root” on federalism.

“The proposed amendments in the Deputation Rules of All India Services will definitely induce a fear psychosis and an attitude of hesitancy among All India Service Officers to implement policies of a state government, which are formed by party/parties politically opposed by the ruling party at the Centre”, Vijayan said in the letter.

“In our federal set-up, the state governments are on a par with the central government as both of them are elected by the people, though the division of authority in the Constitution does give the Union jurisdiction over a wider range of subjects. “We need to recognise that in a vibrant democratic and federal polity, States and the Centre can be ruled by political formations with vastly different ideologies and political views. But these governments function within the framework of the Constitution”, the letter said.

Stalin, echoing the views of his West Bengal and Kerala counterparts, strongly objected to it the proposed changes.

Stalin said that If implemented, the proposed amendments would cause “irreparable damage to the spirit of cooperative federalism that exist between union and the states and lead to concentration of powers in the union government.”

“I would also like to highlight the fact that many of the state governments are also woefully short of officers at specific seniorities, primarily due to the wrong cadre management policies followed by the union government.”

While the union is availing the common pool from Group-I officers at the national level, the state governments solely depend on the limited pool of IAS officers available in the State.

The state governments are on the forefront of implementation of various programmes including the schemes of the union government at the state level. The states also face frequent natural disasters which demands services of IAS officers in the state more than elsewhere. Under such circumstances, forcing the state governments to depute officers would surely aggravate the ‘governance deficit’ in various states due to shortage of officers and also it is an ‘affront’ to the administrative frame work of the states, Stalin said.

“Further, I wish to state that the union government’s lateral entry recruitment has also affected the morale of the officers who seek deputation on their own willingness. I would like to point out that this new proposal will eventually destroy the uniqueness of All India Services, a basic feature of Indian Constitution.”