Uttarakhand’s Women Empowerment and Child Development Minister Rekha Arya is in the headlines these days for her orders and statements.
The latest case is about the order of all the employees, officers and Anganwadi workers of his department to offer water to the pagodas. If the Congress is an attacker about this, many officers and employees are uncomfortable.
Earlier, his department had also issued an official order to attend a religious event being held at the minister’s private residence in Bareilly. When there was a dispute on this, Rekha Arya said that she has not asked anyone to come with a gun on her forehead.
- Offer water to pagodas and send photos
Women Empowerment and Child Development Minister Rekha Arya in a press conference on July 20 had announced to take out Kanwar Yatra from Haridwar Har ki Paidi against gender inequality. An order was issued on his behalf on the same day.
In this order it was said that the department has decided to organize a Kanwar Yatra in support of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme. Its resolution is, “Let me also take birth, the resolution of Shakti in the month of Shiva”.
The order said, “To fulfill this resolution, on July 26, 2022, all the officers/employees of all the districts of the Women and Child Development Department, Anganwadi, Mini Anganwadi workers, assistants by performing Jalabhishek in their nearby pagodas with this holy resolution. Will take this campaign forward. Will fulfill the resolution of the department by sending the photos related to the program on the WhatsApp of all the district officers along with the departmental email id.
- The middle path
State President of State Employees Joint Council, Uttarakhand, Arun Pandey expresses astonishment at this order. He says that Kanwar Yatra or any religious activity is completely a matter of faith of the individual and it should be decided personally.
However, some of the women Anganwadi workers who work on the ground are ready to find a middle ground.
Famida Khatoon is working as an Anganwadi worker at Bulakiwala-3 Anganwadi Center in Dehradun. He got the order of the minister on Saturday morning itself on the WhatsApp group of Anganwadi workers.
She says that since the government order has to be followed, she has found a way out. Her fellow Anganwadi workers will offer water to the Shivling and she will take photos together.
- official invitation to private religious event
Earlier on July 20, there was a dispute after the issue of a government invitation letter from Rekha Arya. The Additional Commissioner of Food and Supplies Department had invited all the officers and employees for a religious program to be organized at the private residence of Departmental Minister Rekha Arya in Bareilly.
In this invitation letter sent to the senior officers of the department, there were instructions that the officers should also provide this invitation letter to their subordinate employees.
There was a ruckus after this letter became public. State Congress President Karan Mahra wrote a letter to the Chief Minister demanding a stay on such orders.
He said that you can invite any program or public program in the house of any person, but you cannot issue orders to the subordinates through a high official of the government.
He also said that this letter is a government letter. Rain and Kavand Yatra is going on in the state. When the CM himself is saying that the officers and employees will not leave their places, then how are the employees being asked to come to Bareilly? This is in defiance of CM’s order. This will start a new practice, will encourage corruption.
- Didn’t call with a gun on the forehead
After the opposition of the Congress, when the journalists wanted to know from Rekha Arya her reaction, she gave rise to another controversy.
Rekha Arya said, “Rekha Arya has given an invitation. The gun is not kept on the temple. The office has given an invitation. It is voluntary. It is not that one has to live compulsively or not to live compulsorily.”
Congress spokesperson Garima Mehra Dasoni reacted sharply to Rekha Arya’s statement. He said that you are a minister, at least maintain the dignity of the post, why are you using the language of goons and mawali.
Dassouni also said that Rekha Arya she has been doing work to stay in controversies and get cheap popularity. The latest orders and statements also narrate this nature of his.
Senior journalist Yogesh Bhatt says that with such decisions it is not understood whether these ministers are very mindless or chaotic?
- Rekha Arya and IAS officer
Yogesh Bhatt says that PS Pangti, Additional Commissioner of Food Department, has shown great understanding in his order by telling that invitation letters have been received from the office of the Departmental Minister with instructions but not all IAS could do so.
Rekha Arya’s tuning record with the IAS officers of her departments has not been good. In the month of June itself, Rekha Arya had a fight with IAS Sachin Kurve, the secretary of her department, over the transfers of some officers in the food department. This matter had increased so much that Rekha Arya had got the secretary’s ACR.
Earlier, during the five-year tenure of Trivendra Singh Rawat, Tirath Rawat and Pushkar Singh Dhami, Rekha Arya, who was Minister of State (Independent Charge), had several conflicts with senior officers of her departments. Rekha Arya’s disputes with senior Radha Raturi, Sowjanya, Jharna Kamthan, Sujata Singh, Savin Bansal, Shanmugam had increased so much that many officers refused to work with them.
However, this time Rekha Arya’s stature has increased and she has become a cabinet minister. Along with this, the controversies related to them have also increased due to the recent orders and statements.