KATHMANDU, July 15: Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Irrigation Sagar Kumar Rai has revealed that outgoing minister Umesh Kumar Yadav demanded a bribe of Rs 10 million in exchange for the post of director general at the Department of Irrigation (DoI).
Talking to Republica, Rai disclosed that Minister Yadav demanded the amount from him through aides at the ministry to secure him executive posts at DoI and later at the
Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention (DWIDP). But Rai declined to disclose the names of the assistants.
“Aides tried to persuade me to pay the amount but I declined, and therefore the minister did not pick me for the top post at DoI and DWIDP,” added Rai.
And this was not the first time former minister Yadav has demanded a bribe from him, it is claimed.
“Referring to payments by other officials, Yadav had demanded Rs 4 million for appointments to executive posts some six months ago also,” revealed Rai.
It’s no secret among officials at the Ministry of Irrigation that all such key appointments were made through illegal financial deals. Rai said he declined to bribe the minister and this led to the appointment of his junior to the executive post. Rai is the seniormost candidate for the post of DG but Yadav picked Sushil Chandra Tiwari, who was third in seniority.
Rai has appealed to the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA), seeking justice. His letter filed at MoGA reads, “Decision to deny me the post of DG at Department of Irrigation is discriminatory and an injustice on me.”
Other officials in the ministry are also not happy with the minister’s decision. “The minister has done an injustice on Rai who has a sound performance record,” said a section officer at the ministry who did not wish to be named.
Minister Yadav transferred director general Niranjan Dev Pandey from DWIDP on Tuesday only two days prior to his compulsory retirement by age. Pandey was replaced by Madhukar Prasad Rajbhandari.
MoGA’s Secretary Tanka Mani Sharma confirmed that Rai has filed an appeal at MoGA. Sharma also informed that MoGA has not consented to the appointment of Rajbhandari to the post of DG over several senior officials including Rai.
“MoGA’s consent is a must for any appointments and transfers of department chiefs,” added Sharma. “The matter will be looked into soon,” he further said.
This is not the only decision by Minister Yadav in breach of rules.
There has been an array of such decisions in the last couple of weeks after preparations for government change started, it is stated.
These instances reflect Yadav’s similar behavior in Parliament in 2015 January when he threw chairs as his party was objecting to the endorsement of the constitution, an official at the Ministry said.
Talking on the phone from Saptari, Minister Yadav challenged the accusations. “I have not received any bribe nor have I asked for any,” claimed Yadav. “All appointments are as per the law and have been accepted by even senior officials,” he further claimed.