The shock resignation of Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Sasikant Senthil from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) on Friday prompted protests by Congress workers against the BJP outside the DC office.
The protesters, armed with party flags and shouting slogans, blamed the ruling party in the state and Centre, even though Sasikanth stated that the decision to resign was a “purely personal one”. He also mentioned that this decision had nothing to do with his work as the DC of Dakshina Kannada. Sources, however, have told TNM that the decision was more to do with the workings of the Centre rather than the new BJP regime in the state.
The Congress leaders alleged that Sasikanth resigned due to pressure from the BJP-led Karnataka government. "At a time when the BJP is in power in Karnataka, they are putting pressure on district officials to do anti-social work. It is due to this pressure that the DC has submitted his resignation today," Congress MLC Ivan D'Souza said, addressing the protesters.
"If this government continues, more IAS, IPS officers will resign due to pressure," MLA and district party president Harish Kumar told TNM, echoing his colleague’s comments.
Sasikant had been serving as the DC of the coastal district since December 2017. In his previous postings, he has served as the Assistant Commissioner in Ballari, Chief Executive Officer of the Shivamogga Zilla Panchayat and Deputy Commissioner of Chitradurga and Raichur districts. Before his posting in Dakshina Kannada, he was the Director of Mines and Geology Department. He had topped the 2009 UPSC exams and secured the ninth position at the national level after leaving his job as an engineer.
Sasikanth is the second IAS officer to resign in recent weeks. Kannan Gopinathan, a Malayali IAS officer from the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, submitted his resignation from the service in August over the clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370. He quit service stating that he wanted his freedom of expression back.