Chandigarh, April 2: Describing IAS officer Ashok Khemka as an honest officer, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar lal Khattar has defended state government's order transferring Khemka.
Khattar said that officers are transferred and posted as per needs and it is a routine process.
"He's an honest officer. He has been transferred on administrative grounds, it's a routine transfer," Khattar was quoted as saying in media reports.
Earlier in the day, terming his transfer as "painful", whistleblower IAS officer Khemka, who shot into limelight after he questioned Robert Vadra's land deals in Haryana, said he tried to address corruption and bring reforms in state transport department despite "severe limitations and entrenched interests" .
"Tried hard to address corruption and bring reforms in Transport despite severe limitations and entrenched interests. Moment is truly painful," 49-year-old Khemka said in a tweet a day after he was moved to Archaeology and Museums Department by the Manohar Lal Khattar government.
Meanwhile, Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij came out in Khemka's support, saying he will talk to the Chief Minister regarding the officer "who had worked to weed out corruption during the previous Congress regime".
Khemka has been transferred 45 times in his nearly 22-year long career, with the officer not occupying any post beyond few months.
When asked about the decision, Vij told reporters in Ambala, "I will talk to the Chief Minister regarding Khemka's transfer." Vij, an outspoken BJP leader and Ambala Cantt MLA, said that he had always stood by Khemka, "who had worked to weed out corruption during the previous Congress regime".
The BJP Government in the state had last night issued transfer and posting orders of nine IAS officers including Khemka with immediate effect.
Khemka, who was in November last year posted as Transport Commissioner and Secretary, Transport Department, has now been posted as Secretary, Archaeology and Museums Department and Director General, Archaeology and Museums, a posting considered as "low profile".
The government did not mention any reason for his transfer. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's OSD Bhupeshwar Dayal termed it as an administrative matter.
(With agency inputs)