|Udit Raj: Attacking his junior in IRS|
Kejriwal failed to identify a single corruption case when he was in the income-tax department. Like Kejriwal, Udit Raj, now 53 years old, quit Indian Revenue Service to plunge into social service and politics. Only recently, the BJP welcomed Raj to its fold mainly to take on Kejriwal’s growing political clout, and hence Raj’s criticism against Kejriwal must be weighed in against the current political environment.
A product of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, Raj cleared civil services examination in 1988 and become an assistant commissioner of income-tax, his first posting, in Ghaziabad. Five years later, he was transferred to Delhi. It was in 2003, he resigned from the IRS.
Like Kejriwal’s wife Sunita Kejriwal, Raj’s wife Seema Raj too is a serving IRS officer. Mrs Raj, a batch-mate of Udit Raj in IRS, is now a commissioner of income-tax.
While appealing Kejriwal for an open debate, Raj further said in one of the election meetings that Kejriwal formed an NGO and took funds from Ford Foundation while remaining in government service and drawing salary from the public exchequer. He further claimed that the funds indirectly came from American secret agency CIA. It must be added here that rules allow a government officer to work in an NGO.
Though a section of IRS officers feel proud of Kejriwal’s meteoric rise in Indian politics, many of his ex-colleagues object to some of his outbursts. In November last year, Indian Revenue Service Association wrote a letter to Kejriwal to convey its anguish over Kejriwal’s reported statement that he could have made crores of rupees as an income-tax commissioner, but left the service to serve the nation. That statement came as a part of a radio advertisement ahead of Delhi assembly elections. IRS Association said, the statement has maligned everyone in the department while reminding Kejriwal that his wife is still a member of the department.