Bhopal: A circular issued by Madhya Pradesh government seeking compulsory retirement of officers concerned for not meeting the target on vasectomy has threatened to resurrect the ghost of the emergency-era nasbandi (sterilisation) campaign to haunt Chief Minister Kamal Nath, friend of Sanjay Gandhi, the brain behind the infamous drive.
The state government on Friday launched a damage control exercise to stave off the controversy triggered by the circular by withdrawing the notification dated February 11 as well as shunting out director of National Health Mission Chavi Bhardwaj for the ‘fiasco’.
The circular issued by state government’s National Health Mission director made it mandatory for each officer concerned to ensure sterilisation of at least 5-7 men in a year and directed top district officials and chief medical and health officers to apply ‘no work, no pay’ rule for the male employees who failed to log at least one sterilisation case in 2019-20 financial year ending March.
The notification also sought compulsory retirement of employees concerned if they still failed to deliver.
The circular cited National Family Health Survey-4 report that recorded sharp decline in male sterilization in MP, while suggesting such tough measures.
Bhardwaj, however, denied that any coercive measure has been mooted by the state government on sterilization.
“No targets have been set nor punitive measures are advised from the state,” she told the media.
She was shunted out as officer-on-special duty (OSD) without charges while being shifted to state secretariat.
However, a Congress spokesman here Syed Jaffer said the state government was only following directive by the Centre on population control. The officers concerned are always under pressure to meet the target during end of financial year. But, nobody would be dismissed from service nor anyone’s increment would be stopped, he said.
BJP spokesman here Rajneesh Agrawal, however, slammed the circular saying that it exposed the coercive style of functioning by the Kamal Nath government.
“The state government has withdrawn the circular under pressure. But, the circular spoke volumes on the style of functioning of Kamal Nath government which believed in intimidation and coercion”, he added.
“The circular is a reminder of the infamous emergency-era nasbandi campaign conceived by Sanjay Gandhi, friend of Kamal Nath”, another BJP leader said.