MP PR department's employees withdraw strike after govt revokes PRO's suspension

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Bhopal, May 24 (PTI) Officers and employees of the Madhya Pradesh government's Public Relations Department on Monday evening withdrew their indefinite strike, which started this morning, after the state government revoked the suspension of the Khandwa district PRO who was relieved of the charge by the district collector.

“After sympathetically considering the representation given by Brajendra Sharma (the PRO), the suspension order issued by the government is revoked,” an order issued by the Indore's divisional commissioner said. As per Sharma's request, he is now posted at the Indore office of the Public Relations Department, it said.

Earlier in the day, officers and employees of the PR department went on an indefinite strike demanding suspension of Khandwa district collector Anay Dwivedi who they alleged has 'arbitrarily' removed Sharma without having powers to do so.

The sudden development affected the dissemination of official news, sources claimed.

'The strike was taken back on the assurance that action will be taken soon against the Khandwa collector,' said MP Jansampark Adhikari Sangh vice president Pankaj Mittal.

The officers and employees became enraged after Dwivedi relieved Sharma of duties on May 22 following alleged complaints that he was not working properly.

Later, Indore's divisional commissioner suspended Sharma on Sunday, relieving him of his duty.

“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 had 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 Khade.

The association had also demanded that the action taken against Sharma be rolled back and that Dwivedi is immediately suspended for 'encroaching on the powers of the chief minister'.

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

Dwivedi had 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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