It was only in January 2018 that firebrand IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri, Hassan Deputy Commissioner was shunted out of her posting for daring to differ with politicians from the ruling party in Karnataka.
But the officer has shown yet again that she is not shy to take on the political class.
On Saturday, she locked down Hassan District-in-charge minister A Manju’s office in the PWD Inspection Bungalow.
Rohini, who is also the District Election Officer issued notices to the minister and the PWD Department as using government space for election work is against the Model Code of Conduct which is in effect with the announcement of poll dates.
According to regional media, although the office was apparently locked from outside, some women staff was clearing pending files. This was confirmed after a flying squad of the Election Commission unearthed the irregularity.
Minister Manju is expected to give a written reply to Sindhuri by Monday 10am, Rohini IAS confirmed to TNM.
“Many channels reported that there were people working inside his office while it was locked from outside. We had sent a team to just check and they said that there were some people inside,” Rohini explained.
“Executive Engineer PWD has been issued a notice too as he is in charge of the Inspection Bungalow, We have sent notices to the concerned staff and to the minister asking why his office was used after the model code of conduct has comes into effect. Since it is a public office, they are not entitled to use it,” Rohini told TNM.
This isn’t the first instance in recent times when Rohini has challenged the political class. She had contested the state government’s decision to transfer her in January and had approached the Karnataka High Court and the Central Administrative Tribunal.
The state government had issued her transfer order in January barely eight months after she was appointed as the Hassan district Deputy Commissioner.
Rohini was apparently shunted out over disagreement with local political leaders including Minister Manju regarding Mahamastakabhisheka preparations.
Hassan District-In-Charge Minister A Manju
She was also issued show cause notices after she failed to receive and see off the Chief Minister when he visited the district to inaugurate Mahamastakabishekha celebrations.
The transfer order was withdrawn on March 5 after Election Commission requested the government to postpone transfers until the final publication of electoral rolls. But her transfer was re-issued within 48 hours. The transfer is in abeyance as the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday ordered status quo till the matter was decided by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
This issue was taken by opposition BJP and JD(S) to target the ruling Congress saying that there was no place for honest offers in the Siddaramaiah government.
Incidentally, the 2009 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer had earned the rare praise of CM Siddaramaiah for executing a crop survey in connection with farmers’ crop insurance scheme in November, 2017.
The CM had also written a letter to her and lauded her at a meeting of Deputy Commissioners and Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive officers.
Prior to this, the Centre entrusted her with training Deputy Commissioners of other states, in recognition of her work as the CEO of the Mandya Zilla Panchayat in implementing Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.
Born on 30 May, 1984, Rohini is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Hyderabad. She had secured 43rd rank in the UPSC exam.
She was first posted as the Assistant Commissioner of Tumakuru for a year before being made the Commissioner of the Urban Development department in the district from 31 August 2012 to 31 December 2012.
Following this she was appointed as the Director of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, Self Employment Project in Bengaluru for a year.
She was then appointed as the CEO of Mandya Zilla Panchayat in May, 2014 where she implemented the Swacch Bharat Mission efficiently.
Her next posting was as the Managing Director of Karnataka Food & Civil Supplies Corporation Limited in September, 2015, in Bengaluru after her brief stint in Delhi training DCs on implementing Swachh Bharat.
She was made the Hassan DC in July 2017.