Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has termed the Central government’s decision to transfer two IAS officers from Delhi to Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh following the ‘dog walking row’ as “unfortunate”.

“The fact is that Arunachal Pradesh falls under the AGMUT cadre, so any posting that takes place in the state has to be under the same cadre. It is unfortunate, but we have to live with it,” Khandu said on Wednesday.

The chief minister said this while responding to a query over the recent transfer of IAS officers Sanjeev Khirwar to Ladakh and his wife Rinku Dugga to Arunachal Pradesh.

The bureaucrat couple, a 1994 batch officer of the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre was transferred by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) following massive outrage over reports that they used to vacate Delhi’s Thyagraj Stadium to take their dog for a walk. The report had instantaneously sparked a furore on social media.

While several hailed the Central government for taking swift action against the IAS officers and transferring them, others have questioned if transferring the civil servants to two of the most picturesque states of the country can really be termed a “punishment”.

It may be mentioned here that Khandu has been pushing for a separate civil service cadre for Arunachal, which is presently a part of the AGMUT cadre, shared by Union territories and the states of Arunachal, Mizoram and Goa.

Khandu has already made several requests to the Centre to work out modalities for creating a separate IAS cadre for the state.

According to the chief minister, the posting of non-permanent IAS and IPS officers at higher bureaucracy in the state causes institutional memory loss that slows down the pace of development.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is the cadre-controlling authority for the AGMUT cadre IAS officers.

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