June 30, 2017

India: BJP president directs labour ministry to use the logo with Deen Dayal Upadhyay (an RSS and Jan Sangh leader) on all papers

The Hindu

Amit Shah leaves imprint on Labour Ministry stationery
Somesh Jha
NEW DELHI, June 17, 2017 00:34 IST

After Mr. Shah’s letter, the Minister asked an official to “examine” the matter urgently.
BJP president directs Ministry to use Deen Dayal Upadhyay logo on all papers

Union Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has deferred to a direction from BJP president Amit Shah, and asked all offices and affiliated autonomous bodies of the Ministry to ensure that their publications and stationery carry a logo on the birth centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

Mr. Shah, in a letter to Mr. Dattatreya written in Hindi on April 6 said, “All the literature, advertising and other printed material published by the department must be using the logo to mark the centenary year of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay. If it has not been done yet, then arrangements should be made.”

The Ministry has treated the BJP president’s letter to the Minister as a D.O. (demi-official) letter, which as per government norms, is used only in correspondence between government officers.

The Centre marked the birth centenary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay with programmes that ran throughout the year starting September 25, 2015.

Following Mr. Shah’s letter, the Labour Minister asked his Officer on Special Duty (OSD) on April 12 to “examine” and “discuss” the matter urgently.

OSD Rahul Kashyap informed Union Labour Secretary M. Sathiyavathy on April 13 that Mr. Dattatreya has “desired that all publications and advertisements of the Ministry, EPFO, ESIC, etc. must carry the logo as given in the enclosed letter” (referring to the logo on the BJP president’s letterhead).

An under secretary then forwarded the note from the OSD to the Minister along with the BJP president’s letter to subordinate offices in early May for “necessary action.”

“I am directed to forward herewith a copy of note dated 13.04.2017 from OSD to Honourable Minister of State [IC] Labour and Employment along with a D.O. letter no. 7335 dated 06.04.2017 received from Hon’ble President Bharatiya Janata Party on the subject mentioned above (Year-long Birth Centenary Celebrations of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay),” the under secretary wrote.

A former Cabinet Secretary, requesting anonymity, said, “The Labour Ministry is not a subsidiary of the BJP. The BJP president, who is not even a Member of Parliament, cannot issue such directions to the Ministry. It is unprecedented in my view.”

The Hindu sought a comment from BJP spokespersons but didn’t receive a response.