By the Way

Murmurs in Parliament

parliament-of-indiaThe UP-cadre IAS officer of 1978 batch was appointed the Secretary General of the Lok Sabha Secretariat in the rank and status of Cabinet Secretary. Lok Sabha Secretary-General Anoop Mishra, former Chief Secretary Uttar Pradesh, was given a one-year extension on the last day of November giving rise to murmurs. Even when he was appointed in 2014, there were many contenders but the Prime Minister personally chose Mishra. Senior officers also hint that with this single move, the future of in-house available talent has been blocked. The Lok Sabha Secretariat has many competent officers who were aspiring to be the Secretary-General. The selection of Secretary General is normally done by a committee comprising the Prime Minister, Speaker and the Leader of Opposition. But, an extension does not require a meeting of all three as it is considered a routine matter. So, only the Prime Minister decided on Mishra’s extension. Even otherwise, if one has the right connection in the PMO, who can stop the extension. Sources disclosed that with this move, the chances of Secretary of Lok Sabha, Dr D Bhalla, a 1986-batch IAS officer of the Nagaland cadre, have brightened. The only hindrance is that Bhalla is not even additional secretary rank officer till now; his file for promotion is pending with DoPT. There are many additional secretaries in line of succession and their files are pending for promotion with the Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan. On her part, Mahajan is in a bind. If she promotes other senior officers, then the chances of Bhalla becoming Secretary-General will be bleak. Wait and watch.

VOL. 10 | ISSUE 9 | DEC 2016

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