Chandigarh: Chandigarh Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Beniwal has landed in a storm with a tweet where he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his promotion.
The 1989-batch AGMUT-cadre IPS officer, who has been posted in Chandigarh since June 2018, was promoted in the DGP scale by the Union Home Ministry Tuesday.
He subsequently posted a copy of his promotion letter on Twitter, with a message of gratitude for the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and Chandigarh administrator V.P. Singh Badnore, besides “Prabhu Shri Ram… parents and Guru Ma”.
With grace of Prabhu Shri Ram, blessings of parents and Guru Ma and astute guidance of honble PM @narendramodi, honble HM @AmitShah and HE Governor of Punjab @vpsbadnore, I feel humbled on attaining the DGP scale today.
Need prayers for visible performance !! pic.twitter.com/7Ve59B7x9g
— DGP Chandigarh Police (@DgpChdPolice) September 1, 2020
The DGP’s official Twitter account is followed by more than 19,000 people.
The tweet in question evoked over 400 responses, including congratulatory messages from fellow IPS and IAS officers. Beniwal replied to most of the positive messages, but didn’t offer a defence against some of the critical comments.
Among those who congratulated him was Chandigarh’s adviser to the administrator, Manoj Parida, a 1986-batch IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre. In June, Parida had also hit the headlines for Twitter remarks that some saw as rude.
Congratulations sir … u made it to DGP becos u came a younger age and worked hard … 😜
— M Shayin IAS (@m_shayin) September 1, 2020
Many congratulations sir!!
— Harleen Kaur (@HarleenParmar) September 1, 2020
Those who criticised the DGP’s tweet included retired IPS officer Yashovardhan Azad, a former special director of the Intelligence Bureau.
I thought you were promoted on strength of merit and seniority and rigorous process of selection based on certain parameters. Wish you the very best for serving the residents of UT Chandigarh faithfully, always being accountable to the Law of Land
— Yashovardhan Azad (@yashoazad) September 1, 2020
Loyalty unsurpassed! Just check if you omitted any one. May be the babu who moved the file with alacrity! But the parents, whose blessings had certainly helped you reach this level would perhaps have preferred to bless you again
in the privacy of home!
— Blofeld (@SIRBLOFELD) September 2, 2020
it seems you have been promoted for everything except your past good work records and merits…thats one way of going ahead in life… sycophancy
— Sid M (@sid62065) September 2, 2020
ThePrint reached Beniwal and left a message for him at his office number. However, he had not returned the call until the time of publishing.
Congress criticises, BJP defends
Congress leader and former Chandigarh MP Pawan Kumar Bansal was among those who objected to his tweet.
“The tweet does not befit an officer. Apart from the fact that it violates public service rules, he has, in the same breath, equated the Prime Minister and the home minister with Bhagwan Ram,” the former Union railways minister told ThePrint.
“Secondly, for officers who reach the pinnacle of their service, a promotion is a routine matter, they achieve (it) on their own merit. To thank the powers that be for this only betrays an effort to ingratiate himself with them for the future,” he said.
The bureaucracy, Bansal added, should remain “politically detached if it has to fulfil a vital role in the parliamentary form of government”.
Chandigarh BJP chief Sanjay Tandon, however, justified the tweet. “There is nothing wrong in the DGP announcing his promotion through a tweet. And, in the process, if he has expressed his gratitude to lord Ram, his parents, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, then what is wrong with that? Trolling him for that seems to be uncalled for,” he said.