New Delhi: A political slugest erupted on Friday over the Gujarat IPS officers' issue with the Centre saying it can intervene if the affected officers want so and the BJP hitting back asking it not play ‘big brother’.

Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke about the possibility of the Centre stepping in while expressing concern over Narendra Modi government's action against two senior IPS men locked in a public confrontation with it over the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

"It is a matter of concern," Chidambaram told reporters at the GoM Media briefing when asked whether the Centre was concerned with the tug of war between the police officers of Gujarat and the state goverment over the 2002 riots.

Asked whether the Centre can intervene to resolve the crisis, the Home Minister said, "Rules do provide for central government to take certain decisions at certain stages but that stage has to be invoked by officer concerned. If officer concerned invokes the rule, certainly we will look into it."

The Home Minister's reaction came against the backdrop of Gujarat police action against IPS officers Sanjiv Bhatt and Rahul Sharma.

Chidambaram's comment did not go down well with BJP whose senior party leader Arun Jaitley said it was "clearly destructive" of the federal setup of Indian governance.

"If officers of a state government are indulging in any indiscipline, it is for the state government to deal with them. The Central government is not the big brother that can intervene in these matters," Jaitley said, adding BJP has "serious objections" to Chidambaram's statement.

"It is a state matter and BJP has serious objections on the statement. If policemen break discipline, the state government can take action. If there is unnecessary interference by the Government of India, BJP will raise the issue seriously," Jaitley said.

He said taking disciplinary action against police personnel facing serious allegations was the duty of the state government.
"It is a seriois issue and if the Congress party or Home Minister does not desist from saying so or doing so, I think it will become a serious bone of contention between the BJP and the government," the BJP leader said.

Jaitley alleged that there is not the least doubt that the Congress party and the Central government is trying to encourage indiscipline.

Bhatt, who had filed a PIL before the Supreme Court against the Modi goverment over Godhra riots issue, was suspended a few days back while a DIG-rank officer Rahul Sharma was issued a show cause notice for giving CDs of call records during the violence to various agencies including SIT.

(Agencies)

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