Manohar Lal Khattar, the newly elected Chief Minister of Haryana, is facing an uphill task in selecting the new Chief Secretary of Haryana. As a stop-gap arrangement, PK Gupta, a 1980-batch officer of the Haryana cadre, has taken charge as Chief Secretary of the State on December 1, but he will superannuate on December 31, 2014. So, a new Chief Secretary has to be selected from the 1982-batch IAS officers. The stakes are high. The builder lobby of Haryana is at the cross-roads after Khattar has taken over as Chief Minister. Some leading builders are learnt to be in touch with the RSS leadership and are pushing for the appointment of their “yes man”. Gupta’s selection is an indication that other 1980-batch IAS officers—Ashok Lavasa, Madhusudan Prasad and Sanjay Kothari—are not available for the prestigious post. So, the selection has to be made from among three top competent officers of the 1982 batch—Deependra Singh Dhesi, KK Jalan and Dr Dalip Singh. Jalan and Dhesi are posted in Delhi whereas Dalip Singh has gone back to his parent cadre and joined the State on November 28. Khattar has to be cautious as the builder lobby has already spread its tentacles into the Haryana administration, especially in HUDA and the Urban Town and Country Planning department. Haryana needs a competent and vibrant Chief Secretary, not a pawn of the builder lobby.
Vol. 8 | Issue 9 | December 2014