A Karnataka IAS officer resigned on Friday, claiming that the fundamental building blocks of democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner, a move that immediately took on a political colour with the Congress seeking to target the NDA government on the issue.
Dakshina Kannada district deputy commissioner S Sasikanth Senthil tendered his resignation from the IAS and clarified that the decision was purely a personal one.
“I have taken this decision as I feel that it is unethical for me to continue as a civil servant in the government when the fundamental building blocks of our diverse democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner,” Senthil said in a letter to his ‘friends’.
He also said he feels strongly that the coming days will present extremely difficult challenges to the basic fabric of the nation and that he would be better off outside the IAS to continue with his work at making life better for all.
“It simply cannot be business as usual anymore,” he remarked.
Congress leaders, including legislative council member Ivan D’Souza and party workers staged a protest in the Dakshina Kannada district headquarters town of Mangaluru against Senthil quitting from the IAS.
Veteran Congress leader M Mallikarjun Kharge termed the resignation as an “indicator of the way India is moving”.
“The democratic values are in danger and things are not happening according to the constitutional provisions. Hence there is dejection.”
“These IAS officers function directly come under the central government. That’s the reason that he (Senthil) has resigned,” Kharge claimed while talking reporters.
He also alleged that institutions like the income tax department, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Central Vigilance Commission and the judiciary were losing their “independence” due to the ‘interference’ of the central government. BJP leader and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K S Eshwarappa sought “clarity” from Senthilon his resignation.
“I want to ask (from the officer) in clear terms, make your intentions clear. Please don’t give confusing statements,” Eshwarappa told reporters when his reaction was sought. “If the officers do not cite a clear reason, then it will lead to chaos and confusion across the state”, Eshwarappa said, adding, it would also damage the reputation of the officer.
In the letter, Senthil said his decision to resign was in no way connected to anyone or any event in his current profile as deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district.
“The people and the public representatives of DK (Dakshina Kannada) have been extremely kind to me and I owe an apology to them for discontinuing the job vested on me midway,” he said in the letter.
Senthil, who belongs to Tamil Nadu, is a 2009 batch IAS officer.
He was made DC of Dakshina Kannada in 2017.
He previously served as DC in other parts of the state, including Raichur.
The post of deputy commissioner is known as District Collector in some other parts of the country.