Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao may have preferred an IAS officer of 1989 batch Somesh Kumar as new chief secretary and head the administration wing of the State keeping his three-year long left over service in mind. But many special chief secretary rank officers, who are senior to him are reluctant to work with him. Some of the officers have reportedly asked the chief minister to give them independent posts relieving from their existing postings which make them work under the new Chief Secretary.
Somesh Kumar was appointed as fifth chief secretary of Telangana following retirement of SK Joshi on December 31. Joshi was rehabilitated as advisor to the state government on irrigation issues. The CMO claimed that state government reportedly preferred Somesh Kumar over others as he is left with three years of service and also he has reportedly proved his efficiency in handling crucial issues in the revenue department.
But many senior IAS officers were irked with the state government’s choice. Official sources said there were instances where some IAS officers such as Pradeep Chandra worked as chief secretary one month and the argument of long service is absolutely untenable.
Of total special chief secretaries, while special chief secretary Rajeshwar Tiwari has only two months, another special CS and 1984 batch IAS officer Ajay Mishra has seven months of service left. CM Rao also ignored other senior officers like BP Acharya (1983 batch), Chitra Ramachandran (1985) and Adhar Sinha (1988). Two more officers Binoy Kumar (1983) and Hiralal Samaria (1986) are retiring in May and September 2020 respectively.
“Though chief secretary heads the administration wing of the government, all the policy decisions and appointments are being taken by the chief minister and chief secretary has limited role in the implementation of the schemes. The other role is nothing more than that of a glorified postman duty. Long tenure is irrelevant to the role of CS in the present government,” a senior official said.
With the appointment of Somesh Kumar, many officers are seeking transfers and want independent posts.
Adhar Sinha, who is heading the General Administration Department (GAD) has reportedly asked to relieve him from the duties and transfer to other department as GAD has to release government orders on the directions of the CS. Similarly, the CS reviews departments performance and cannot direct the special CSs, who are in-charge of various departments, to attend the review meetings. For instance, housing department is being headed by 1985 batch officer Chitra Ramachandran and energy department by Ajay Mishra.
The CM is likely to transfer some of the senior officers of special chief secretary posts where they need not take directions from the present chief secretary such as secretary to S C commission, chief commissioner of land revenue and also posts like corporations chairman and managing directors.
Meanwhile, chief secretary Somesh Kumar’s meeting with the ministers raised eyebrows and even some people termed is degrading the post. “Chief Secretary is head of the administration and considered to be next to the CM. But Somesh Kumar is meeting all the ministers right from KTR at their residences. They said CS never attends even meetings also,” a senior IAS officer said.