MP: Officers and staff of PR dept on strike as collector removes Khandwa PRO

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Bhopal, May 24 (PTI) In a curious development, officers and employees of the Madhya Pradesh government's Public Relations Department went on an indefinite strike on Monday demanding suspension of Khandwa district collector who they alleged has 'arbitrarily' removed the PRO of the district without having powers to do so.

The sudden development affected the dissemination of official news, sources claimed. The dispute started after Khandwa collector Anay Dwivedi relieved the district's public relation officer (PRO) Brajendra Sharma of duties on May 22 following alleged complaints that he was not working properly. Later, Indore's divisional commissioner suspended Sharma on Sunday, relieved him of his duty, and attached him to the Department of Public Relations, Bhopal.

“We strongly oppose the decision of the Khandwa collector to relieve Sharma from his post as he is not empowered to do so. The collector acted arbitrarily in the matter by encroaching on the powers of the Chief Minister,” Madhya Pradesh Jansampark Adhikari Sangh president Arun Rathore said in a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who heads the department.

The memorandum was handed over to the Commissioner, Public Relations, Sudam P Khade.

“The association also wants the action taken against Sharma be rolled back and that Dwivedi is immediately suspended for encroaching on the powers of the chief minister,' reads the memorandum.

All three unions of the public relation department's officers, employees and drivers went on an indefinite strike on the issue by disrupting the dissemination of government news for the media and the public.

According to sources in the Kahndwa district administration, the collector had removed Sharma for alleged negligence in the duty which damaged the reputation of the state government.

Meanwhile, Dwivedi told media persons that action was taken against Sharma as per 'administrative requirement'. 'Besides, the officer was not discharging his duties properly,' the collector added. PTI MAS NSK NSK

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