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Kejriwal’s appeal to ‘honest’ officials

Arvind Kejriwal.

Arvind Kejriwal.  

An attempt on the part of Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister-designate, Arvind Kejriwal, to call upon the “honest” and “dynamic” bureaucrats to contact him for future assignments is not only at variance with the past, but has also set the corridors of power abuzz with speculation about the set of officers likely to be appointed to key posts in the Delhi Government.

“I would request them to contact me through SMS or email. We will depute good people at good places. I don’t have a magic wand to solve all the problems in one go, but if good, honest and dynamic people join us nothing is impossible,” Mr. Kejriwal told journalists during the “Janta Darbar” outside his Kaushambi residence in neighbouring Ghaziabad on Thursday.

Asked how the AAP would verify whether somebody is honest or not, Mr. Kejriwal said “we have a network and we will find out.” Senior officials in the Delhi Government said they have already been getting calls from officials in other departments to take a feedback about officers they have worked with in the past.

While Mr. Kejriwal’s appeal received mixed reactions in bureaucratic circles, sources in the government said some names, who are frontrunners to hold key posts soon, are already doing the rounds. While speculation is rife about a complete overhaul of the government machinery with a series of transfers at key positions, officials said changes are likely to happen only at certain vital posts in the immediate run.

“The immediate changes at the secretary level are likely to happen in the Chief Minister’s Office, the Power Department and the Delhi Jal Board. It could be followed by change of Chief Secretary and the Chief Vigilance Officer. All other transfers would be consequential which would require some time,” a senior government official said.

While former Power Secretary Rajendra Kumar is all set to take over as Principal Secretary in the CMO, sources said former Chief Secretary of Goa Sanjay Srivastava is one of the frontrunners to replace incumbent Chief Secretary D.M Spolia. Mr. Srivastava is a 1980 batch IAS officer currently serving in the capacity of Special Secretary (Health) with the Centre, was also the vice-chairman of DDA in the past.

Officials said another official being considered for the post of Chief Secretary is Vijay Shankar Madan, an UT cadre Indian Administrative Service official of the 1981 batch, currently serving as Director-General of the Unique Identification Authority of India. The officials, however, said their appointments at the top post would require a nod from the Union Home Ministry.

The officials claimed Mr. Kejriwal won’t have much of a problem in finding honest and efficient officials, if the new government works with a positive agenda.

“If the political executive works with a positive agenda, the officials would not have any hesitation in making their contribution,” said an official.

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