The change of guard at the Centre and in the state has not changed anything for senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who was on Wednesday once again transferred to an inconsequential posting by the BJP government in Haryana.
This is Khemka’s 45th transfer in 24 years.
After the news was reported, Khemka took to microblogging website Twitter to express how painful the moment was for him in the middle of his efforts to address corruption in the transport department where he was currently posted.
Khemka, as per the latest orders of the Haryana government, has been posted as Secretary, Archaeology and Museums Department and Director General, Archaeology and Museums.
Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar has defended Khemka’s transfer while describing him as an honest officer. He stressed that officers are transferred and posted as per needs.
“He’s an honest officer. He has been transferred on administrative grounds, it’s a routine transfer,” Khattar said. “Depending on the need, officers are transferred. It’s a routine process,” he added.
However, state’s Health Minister Anil Vij came out in Khemka’s support, saying he will talk to the Chief Minister regarding the officer “who had worked to weed out corruption during the previous Congress regime”.
Vij further told reporters in Ambala, “I will talk to the Chief Minister regarding Khemka’s transfer.”
Vij, an outspoken BJP leader and Ambala Cantt MLA, said that he had always stood by Khemka, “who had worked to weed out corruption during the previous Congress regime”.
Notably, the government did not mention any reason for his transfer. Chief Minister Khattar’s OSD Bhupeshwar Dayal termed it as an administrative matter.
Khemka was appointed as transport commissioner and secretary, Transport department, last year after Khattar assumed office as chief minister of the first BJP government in Haryana.
At that time, Khemka, who had blown the lid off from the controversial multi-million-rupee land deals of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, was touted to get an important assignment. However, he was posted in the transport department.