Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The plea of Chief Secretary P. Ramakanth Reddy for another extension of tenure has been turned down and the top echelons of government have begun a search for his successor.

Sources said Mr. Reddy sought further extension of service for three months, but Chief Minister K. Rosaiah did not send his representation to the Union government.

Sources said the government is considering S.V. Prasad, an IAS officer of the 1975 batch serving as Chief Commissioner, Land Administration, to succeed him. Although the names of nine officers have come up for reckoning, there are several factors in favour of Mr. Prasad who served as Special Secretary to former Chief Ministers K. Vijayabhaskar Reddy and N. Chandrababu Naidu.

If seniority alone is the criterion for the top post, Mr. Priyadarshi Dash, Special Chief Secretary, Animal Husbandry and A.K. Goel, Special Chief Secretary, Energy, who belong to 1973 and 1974 batches respectively, are eligible. Another name doing the rounds from the 1974 batch is Janaki R. Kondapi, Special Chief Secretary, Forest & Environment.

In case, the government does not take seniority into account, there are at least five contenders from the 1975 batch -- Rachel Chatterjee, T. Chatterjee, Pankaj Dwivedi, S. Bhale Rao and Rentala Chandrasekhar (now with the Centre) -- who fit the bill.

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