gfiles magazine

April 17, 2013

Haryana: Awaiting a competent PS the way
Haryana: Awaiting a competent PS
It was a tough decision for Bhupinder Singh Hooda to appoint a new Principal Secretary as the incumbent, Chhatar Singh, a 1980 batch IAS officer, was supposed to retire on March 31. And, it is probably because of this that the Chief Minister decided to extend Mr Chhatar Singh’s term by three more months. What the extension means is that the race for this coveted post has heated up. According to sources, there are four contenders for the slot. Leading them is the suave, sincere and hardworking Ashok Lavasa, a 1980 batch IAS officer, currently Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Power. However, there are reports that he not keen on joining Hooda’s ranks as he is likely to be made a Secretary in the Central Government next year. Number two in the race is Yudhvir Singh Malik, a 1983 IAS officer, currently Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce. Hindering his appointment is the fact that he is a Jat, the community to which Hooda belongs. The third in the queue is S S Dhillon, a 1984 batch IAS officer, who holds charge as Principal Secretary, Town and Country Planning and Urban Estate. The last in fray is another IAS officer of the 1985 batch, K K Khandelwal, currently Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Information and Public Relations. Khandelwal is considered to be close to Hooda. He has served for seven years in the CM’s secretariat. Compounding matters, however, is the influence that the builder lobby exerts. Yet another player in the decision-making process is Vinod Sharma, a close pal of the CM, an industrialist and a fast-emerging media tycoon. It is learnt that Vinod’s opinion matters most in the selection and removal of officers. So wait and watch for Hooda to make his move in picking the right kind of officer...Read More

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