Going into an overdrive ahead of the announcement of dates for the assembly elections, the state government on Monday ordered top officials of various departments to not leave the state headquarters this week.
In a directive to all administrative secretaries and heads of departments on August 25, the chief secretary instructed them not to leave their headquarters (Chandigarh or Panchkula) without obtaining specific approval from the chief minister.
The heads of departments are required to take clearance for travel from their respective principal secretaries, but they have now been asked to take the chief minister’s approval for any official tour.
While no reasons have been given for this unusual order, the chief secretary’s directive is said to be linked to the implementation of recent announcements of the state government.
There has been a flurry of poll-centric announcements by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the past few weeks to lure the electorate, with the state cabinet meeting convened eight times since June 1 to put its stamp.
State departments have been working overtime and a few offices remained open on holidays such as Independence Day and Janmashtami to release grants, carry out recruitment and issue appointment orders.