Public servants must not damage public property

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Cabinet reshuffles and governments have had a very troubled relationship. Opinions and perspectives regarding the reshuffle are generally influenced by which side of the reshuffle you are on. However, some things are clear as the day, when it comes to the Karnataka government. That some ministries were underperforming is clear. But a few of the underperforming ministers were displeased at the scrutiny and they expressed their anger with harming public property!

Every public servant must be open to being under public scrutiny. And the logical culmination for any such scrutiny should be, action in the form of new appointments. But the reactions to these appointments which range from threats of resignation to burning tyres in protest are unfortunate, to say the least.

Siddaramaiah’s induction of 13 new Ministers in the Karnataka government was followed by protests, resulting in sporadic violence and traffic disruption in arterial roads, by the ardent followers of some of the displeased ex-ministers.

While supporters of V. Srinivas Prasad, M.H. Ambareesh and Shivaraj Tangadagi took to the streets in protest, in different parts of the State, and even indulged in violence. Bengaluru was witness to severe traffic disruptions on the arterial Bengaluru-Mysuru highway as supporters of Vijayanagar (Bengaluru) MLA, M. Krishnappa, went to extremes such as throwing stones and blocking the road in response. What’s more, Ambareesh’s loyalists blocked the highway near Mandya.

Motorcycle rallies, forcing bandhs on shopkeepers, damaging vehicles, including government buses is unbecoming of any public servant, let alone an ex-minister. Public scrutiny and cabinet reshuffles are a means to ensure better performance, and efficiency. It is time the displeased netas woke up and smelt the coffee.

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