Noida. A curious case of a UP cadre IAS officer being transferred forty two times in four days has come to light. Laxmi Devi Lakhanpal was first transferred from Noida to Moradabad four days back when she reportedly annoyed the local hooch mafia.
Surendra Katti, the local MLA and part of the mafia then bragged about getting her transferred within 41 minutes by using his influence with the party high command.
As soon as the local party senior worker Rajendra at Moradabad learnt of Surendra’s claim, he called the high command and ensured that the officer was transferred from Moradabad to Gorakhpur within 37 minutes.
Party workers say that he and Surendra are old rivals in the party cadre. If Surendra can arrange a crowd of 5000 at a party rally, Rajendra can do better with 6000.
Thanks to the prompt media coverage, soon the news on Laxmi Devi’s two competing transfers traveled far and wide and a competition broke out among the party satraps as to whoever could ensure a faster transfer of Laxmi Devi had a better influence on the high command, and thus had greater power to wield.
The game of one upmanship ensued into a chain reaction resulting into a series of transfers for the officer from each new posting she was assigned to.
There were even rumors doing the rounds that whoever could ensure a transfer in less than 15 minutes would be offered the post of a Cabinet Minister by the Chief Minister.
“The PS did not pick up the phone for two minutes otherwise I would have achieved her transfer in 15 minutes,” said Kunj Bihari from Varansi who got her transferred in 17 minutes.
The competition intensified, became more passionate, and more transfers for the IAS officer followed.
“A Chief Secretary can not have a MLA suspended even in five years,” said a senior party leader when asked by Faking News if he didn’t fear any backlash from the IAS officers, “Babus should not even dream of competing with politicians.”
All this while Laxmi Devi Lakhanpal kept on getting transfer orders – for reasons ranging from destroying communal harmony to acting against poor sections of the society, to even giving bribe when she was giving alms to a beggar.
As the search for new plausible reason for the transfer failed, additional Secretary, HRD, P K Singh, an old hand at the head quarters then pointed to clause 8(2) read with para 23 of the appointment letter, under which an officer could be transferred for administrative reasons.
After third, all her transfers took place under this clause.
With so many transfers so fast, Laxmi Devi is yet to leave Noida as the place of her new posting keeps getting changed by the hour.
Latest reports suggest that Laxmi Devi Lakhanpal has been transferred for the 43rd time. Sources confirm that the 43rd transfer has resulted into her getting posted back to Noida on the same post she was occupying four days back.
“There might have been no change as a result, but politics is all about bringing no change by putting a lot of effort,” explained a political expert.