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Bharadwaj criticises Saptarishi; says he got no letter

May 09, 2005 21:40 IST

In a new twist to the controversy over Indian Administrative Service officer L V Saptarishi's attack on the Election Commission, Union Law Minister H R Bharadwaj on Monday criticised the bureaucrat for making disparaging comments against a constitutional authority.

Bharadwaj said it was for the concerned ministry to decide whether disciplinary action was called for against Saptarishi.

Regarding Saptarishi's letter, Bharadwaj told reporters, "I have no such letter. I cannot tell you if there is any other minister under whom he is working and whether he has that letter."

Saptarishi, nearing his retirement, had claimed to have written a letter to Bharadwaj alleging that the repoll in Chapra constituency, from where Lalu Yadav has been elected, was ordered last year at the behest of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.

Saptarishi had also launched a broadside at B B Tandon, likely to succeed as Chief Election Commissioner, over his alleged casteist remarks.

Bharadwaj's remarks against Saptarishi's conduct fly in the face of his cabinet colleague and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, who had demanded that Election Commissioners, B B Tandon and N Gopalaswamy, accused by Saptarishi should resign.

The IAS officer is at present working as Director General of the Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology, which comes under the Rural Development Ministry headed by RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.


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