A senior IAS officer in the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan has converted to Islam and asked for voluntary retirement because he is upset at being denied a promotion that would have made him chief secretary. Umrao Salodia, a 1978 batch IAS officer from Rajasthan cadre, is the Chairman of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC).
Umrao Salodia, a 1978 batch IAS officer from the Dalit community, alleged Thursday that the Raje government is “victimising him on the basis of caste,” reports The Hindu. He claims that the current chief secretary C S Rajan has been given an extension with the sole purpose of denying him ( Salodia) the chance of a promotion.
"For the first time after independence of the country, myself, an IAS officer from the SC/ST category would have been appointed today [on Thursday] as Chief Secretary (of Rajasthan) on the basis of seniority," Salodia wrote to Raje, reports say.
In the letter, Mr. Salodia alleged that the current Chief Secretary C.S. Rajan was given a three-month extension, till March next year, to deny him the opportunity of becoming Rajasthan's Chief Secretary.
"I hereby apply for Voluntary Retirement by giving a three-month notice under the All India Service Rules," Mr. Salodia stated in the letter, adding that he must be granted the Voluntary Retirement as he did not wish to work under a junior officer, reports The Indian Express.
Mr. Salodia converted to Islam, on Thursday. He said that he believed in the equality that Islam, unlike Hinduism which discriminates on the basis of caste, offered to all its followers. "After conversion my name is Umrao Khan," he said.
Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore dismissed Mr Salodia's claims. Rathore said that Salodia had acted in violation of the law as he spoke against the government. "Mr Salodia's allegations are baseless. Had the government discriminated on the basis of caste, the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker [Kailash Meghwal] would not be from the SC/ST community."
"The government will get the matter investigated and will take disciplinary action against Mr Salodia based on the results of the investigation," Rathore said.
Congress condemns BJP govt
Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot said, "Mr Salodia's appeal for Voluntary Retirement has put the working of the BJP government [in Rajasthan] under question. Also, it is tragic that the indifference of the BJP government led the senior officer to convert to Islam."
The current chief secretary C S Rajan (of the same batch) was due to retire on December 31, but will continue on the post after being granted a three-month extension by the state government.