'Crash Landing': Haryana Bureaucrat Ashok Khemka Transferred Again

Ashok Khemka, the 1991-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer shot to fame in 2012 after he cancelled a controversial land deal involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.

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'Crash Landing': Haryana Bureaucrat Ashok Khemka Transferred Again

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Ashok Khemka, who had cancelled deals involving Robert Vadra, transferred again (file)

Chandigarh:  Ashok Khemka, Haryana's most transferred officer, has been shifted again. A principal secretary, Mr Khemka has been transferred from the social justice and empowerment department to youth and sports affairs, the state's BJP government said in a press statement on Sunday.

The 1991-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer shot to fame in 2012 after he cancelled a controversial land deal involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra. The Congress ruled Haryana at the time.

"So much work planned. News of another transfer. Crash landing again. Vested interests win. Deja vu. But this is temporary. Will continue with renewed vigour and energy," tweeted Mr Khemka, 51, after yet another transfer last evening.

Reports said the bureaucrat had landed in trouble after asking a minister to return an officer's car.

Mr Khemka has been transferred close to 50 times during his nearly three decade-long career, not just during the Congress regime but even after the BJP took power in 2014.

He has alleged that he was persecuted by the Congress government after he cancelled the sale of 3.5 acres of land in Gurgaon near Delhi by Mr Vadra's company to real estate giant DLF for Rs. 58 crore.

An auditor's report had said the Congress bent rules to enable windfall gains for Mr Vadra's company.

The report was ignored by the Bhupinder Hooda-led government, which set up its own inquiry and then charge-sheeted Mr Khemka for "causing damage to Mr Vadra's reputation" and "illegally" cancelling the deal.

After the Manohar Lal Khattar government came to power, the ruling BJP praised Mr Khemka as an upright officer and backed him. In 2015, the government overturned its predecessor's orders and dropped a charge-sheet for "professional misconduct" filed against him.

But when he was transferred again within months - amid reports of his sharp differences with a minister - Mr Khemka tweeted: "Tried hard to address corruption and bring reforms in Transport despite severe limitations and entrenched interests. Moment is truly painful."

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