'Truly Painful' - Senior IAS officer Ashok Khema about his 45th TransferApril 02, 2015 11:22
Ashok Khemka, the IAS officer who alleged persecution by the Congress in Haryana for cancelling a land deal involving Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, has once again been transferred by the state's new BJP government.
In what is the 45th transfer in his 23-year career, Mr Khemka has been shunted out as Transport Commissioner and shifted to the low profile Archaeology and Museums Department.
Mr Khemka has tweeted his response to the move by a party that had supported him while targeting the Congress over Mr Vadra's controversial deal.
"Tried hard to address corruption and bring reforms in Transport despite severe limitations and entrenched interests. Moment is truly painful," the 49-year-old officer said in his tweet.
Sources say Mr Khemka had a run-in with state Transport Minister Ram Bilas Sharma over the easing of rules for overloaded vehicles. As Transport Commissioner, Mr Khemka had ordered district officials to penalise such vehicles - mostly involved in the mining business.
Mr Khemka was appointed in charge of the transport department last year after Manohar Lal Khattar took charge as chief minister of Haryana's first BJP government.
The IAS officer has been transferred multiple times since he cancelled the mutation of 3.5 acres of land in Gurgaon near Delhi in November 2012. The land had been sold by Robert Vadra's company Skylight Hospitality to real estate giant DLF for Rs. 58 crore.
An auditor's report endorsed Mr Khemka's action and said the Congress, which was in power at the time, bent rules to enable windfall gains for Mr Vadra's company.
The report was ignored by the Congress government, which set up its own inquiry and then charge-sheeted Mr Khemka for "causing damage to Robert Vadra's reputation" and "illegally" cancelling the deal.
The new government tabled the report last month and supported Mr Khemka's stand, but has not yet acted on his request to cancel the charge-sheet against him.