Punjab Minister courts controversy over ‘shame’ remark on IAS officers

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Chandigarh, March 12 (IANS) Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s remark shaming the English skills of IAS officers in the state has started a new controversy in Punjab’s power echelons.

A video of the Finance Minister, in which he is speaking in Punjabi while addressing the World Punjabi Conference here on Sunday, has gone viral and has pitted the powerful IAS lobby in Punjab against him.

“No one (IAS officers) can write letters. Sometimes we hold our heads in shame as to how these people cleared the IAS (exams). They cannot even write letters or memorandums to the government of India,” Badal said.

“Barring one or two, other IAS officers, mostly don’t know how to write English. They don’t know how to write a letter,” Badal added.

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Badal made the remarks while pointing out that most work in the government was being done in Punjabi.

“All files coming at my level are in Punjabi,” Badal said.

Although there were murmurs on Monday about the Finance Minister’s comments, the state IAS officers’ association did not react.

A couple of officers said that the remarks were “unwarranted” and “insulting”. Official sources said that messages were exchanged regarding this in Whatsapp groups of IAS officers.



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