“You do not remove even your domestic staff in such a manner”, Congress today said reacting sharply to the sudden sacking of Sujatha Singh as Foreign Secretary and attributed it to the “arbitrary and dictatorial functioning” of the Prime Minister.
Senior party spokesman Anand Sharma accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “tearing to shreds” the well considered policy of having fixed tenures for top secretaries in the government like those of Home, Defence, Finance and Foreign Ministries.
Insisting that institutions must be respected, he lamented that the “arbitrary and dictatorial functioning” of the Prime Minister has led to sacking of the Finance Secretary earlier and that of the Foreign Secretary now. “You do not remove even your domestic staff like this”.
“It creates a new environment of uncertainity and insecurity among the seniormost secretaries, civil servants and diplomats”, he told PTI adding that some senior officers including the DRDO Chief were also removed like this. “It is a disturbing trend”.
Sharma also alleged that the Cabinet system was delivered a body blow by the Prime Minister by having only two members in the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet comprising him and the Home Minister. Home Minister, he claimed, has told Parliament that he gets the files of the Committee which have already been signed by the Prime Minister.
Another party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said that the Prime Minister owed an explanation to the nation over the “sudden and summary” sacking of Sujatha Singh as Foreign Secretary.
This, he said, was especially because the development has come close on the heels of similar summary terminations of SPG chief, DRDO Chief and IIM director.
“It puts a serious question mark on the administrative consistency and efficacy of actions of the Prime Minister”, he said, adding that this was more so because this “without reason removal” has happened after “supposedly successful” visit of the U S President.
Government last night decided to replace Singh curtailing her tenure due to end in August and appointed India’s Ambassador to the US S Jaishankar in her place.