The State government, which managed to extend the service of the incumbent Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath twice — first on the advise of the Election Commission of India and then by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after he took over — is likely to appoint Additional Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee to be the next executive head of the government.

According to reliable sources, the government may approve the name of Mr. Mukherjee in the panel of names as he is the senior-most IAS officer in the State. While Sudhir Krishna, who is Union Urban Development Secretary, is unlikely to be ready to come back to Karnataka, the Union Secretary for Justice Anita Kaul, it is said, is not keen on the coveted post either.

The third senior-most officer, who is also a contender, is Additional Chief Secretary Arvind Jadhav, who is in charge of tourism.

Though there is some speculation also about the name of Additional Chief Secretary in charge of finance, L.V. Nagarajan, it is reported that he opted out on personal reasons.

Others in line

The other Additional Chief Secretaries, who are in line are V.P. Baligar, Anup Pujari, Tripathi, V. Umesh, Ratnaprabha, S.K. Pattanayak, M.N. Vidyashankar, Gurucharan and Subhash Kuntia. However, Mr. Siddaramaiah, who has been authorised by the State Cabinet to select his next Chief Secretary, is inclined towards Mr. Mukherjee.

The subject is coming up before the Cabinet on Friday.

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