POLITICS

Congress fumes as Haryana govt lifts ban on employees joining RSS Jamaat-e-Islami

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The Haryana government’s decision to lift a ban on its employees joining RSS and Jamaat-e-Islami on Monday has come under criticism from the Congress party.

Congress, Haryana

Image: PTI

The Haryana government’s decision to lift a ban on its employees joining RSS and Jamaat-e-Islami on Monday has come under criticism from the Congress party. Taking to Twitter, Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala disapproved of the letter issued by the state’s General Administration Department which reiterated the implementation of Clause 8 and 9 of the Haryana Civil Services (Government Employees’ Conduct) Rules, 2016 and withdrew letters dated January 11, 1967, March 4, 1970, and April 2, 1980. Lashing out at the Haryana government, he questioned, “Is (Manohar Lal Khattar) running the government or a BJP-RSS school”?

Clause 8 of the aforesaid rules prohibit any government employee from having an association with any political party or assisting in any political movement. Moreover, he has to make an endeavour to stop his family members from indulging in any subversive activities. While the government employee can exercise his right to vote, he cannot campaign for any candidate or use his influence in connection with any election. On the other hand, Clause 9 specifies that he cannot join any association whose activities are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order.

What do the withdrawn letters entail? 

Surjewala’s specific grievance was pertaining to the withdrawal of the letter dated January 11, 1967, whereby the Chief Secretary threatened action against employees associated with RSS and Jamaat-e-Islami. The letter read, “It is clarified that the Government have always held the activities of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh and the Jamaat-e-Islami to be of such a nature that participation in them by Government employees would attract the provisions of sub-rule (1) of Rule 5 of the Punjab Government Employees (Conduct) Rules, 1966. Any Government Employee who is a member of or is otherwise associated with the aforesaid organisations or with their activities is thus liable to disciplinary action”.

However, the government itself took a step back via its letter in 1970 citing the pendency of a petition before the Supreme Court. The Chief Secretary stated, “Accordingly, Government have decided that till final disposal of the case by the Supreme Court, it would not be appropriate at this stage to take any action against Government Servants in terms of the letter referred to above for participation in the activities of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh and Jamaat-e-Islami”. The other withdrawn letter of 1980 pertained to the state government’s position that it will continue to take action against employees associated with the aforesaid organizations unless the SC strikes down the relevant portion of the rule. 

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