Telangana

Race for Chief Secretary’s post hots up

Ajay Mishra.

Ajay Mishra.  

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It’s ‘senior’ Ajay Mishra versus ‘junior’ Somesh Kumar

It could be a toss up between a senior IAS officer Ajay Mishra and his junior colleague Somesh Kumar when it comes to appointment of the new Chief Secretary of Telangana in the New Year.

The incumbent Shailendra Kumar Joshi is due for retirement on December 31 and officials in the Chief Minister’s office are weighing pros and cons of selecting the successor for him.

Highly placed sources said that the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had not seriously discussed the matter with officials as they are yet to come to a conclusion whether it would be advisable to promote to the high post a junior in Mr. Somesh Kumar who has four more years of service. But, it made a good choice for Mr. Rao if he were to select Mr. Somesh Kumar as the latter’s retirement would be co-terminus with the end of the present term of TRS government in December 2023.

At the same time, the seniority of Mr. Ajay Mishra, Special Chief Secretary of Energy, who is next only to the incumbent Mr. Joshi in the cadre list could not be overlooked as it might demoralise the seniors. There were over a dozen IAS officers who were senior to Mr. Somesh Kumar. But, some of them on Central deputation were said to be not keen on assuming the post.

It was argued against Mr. Ajay Mishra that he had only seven months of service left and, hence, not so effective to serve the purpose of the government looking for an official at the helm till the next Assembly elections. However, sources added that the government would be superceding a bureaucrat of his position for the second time if Mr. Ajay Mishra was not chosen. When Mr. Joshi took over as the Chief Secretary on February 1 last year, he bypassed Mr. B.P. Acharya, Director General, Marri Channa Reddy Institute of Human Resource Development, and Mr. Binoy Kumar, who is on Central deputation. Moreover, both were still in service and a dozen more down the line add to the list of seniors up to Mr. Somesh Kumar.

Sources added that Mr. Acharya, who had ten months left, was not preferred because he was involved in court cases of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy while Mr. Binoy Kumar will retire in May.

The question of the new Chief Secretary was a hot topic in official circles and employees of the Secretariat after it was clear that Mr. Joshi will not get an extension.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 2:11:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/race-for-chief-secretarys-post-hots-up/article30396549.ece

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