In a late Wednesday night reshuffle, the Haryana government shifted senior IAS officer and transport commissioner Ashok Khemka to a low-key assignment as director general, archeology and museums department.
Another significant transfer was of additional principal secretary to chief minister, Sumita Misra, who was dropped from the chief minister office (CMO).
Sources said that Khemka was transferred from the post of transport commissioner as he had on at least two occasions created embarrassing situations for the state government.
The first instance was when he had ordered that oversized vehicles would not be granted vehicle fitness certificates, leading to a strike. The state government, however, had to eat a humble pie by conceding to the demands of the truckers associations by providing them another year of extension for bringing the over sized vehicles in conformity with the provisions of Central Motor Vehicle Rules.
In the second instance, he had issued the new time table and had granted long route permits to private bus operators which had triggered a strike by Haryana Roadways employees unions during the assembly session. The strike, however, was called off after one day, following parleys between the government and unions. Some of his decisions were also viewed by the state government as an attempt to corner limelight for himself than providing a solution to the issues. Another factor which could have led to his ouster was his not so cordial relations with some of the ministers.
The citing of irregularities by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the tendering process of Galvalume roofing sheets during Khemka's tenure as managing director, Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC) which has again opened the option of a CBI or Vigilance probe, as decided by the previous government, could be another reason for his ouster.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had recently indicated in an interview to a news channel that Khemka should not expect any special treatment for highlighting the contentious Vadra-DLF. Khattar was responding to a query regarding the tweets made by the IAS officer saying he was still suffering the stigma of being charge sheeted despite the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report vindicating his stand on the Vadra-DLF issue.
Sumita Misra, who was a surprise pick in the chief minister's office, was also transferred in Wednesday's reshuffle. The reasons for her transfer were however not known. She was posted as principal secretary (tourism, science and technology).
Meanwhile, SS Dhillon, additional chief secretary (ACS), tourism and archaeology and museums departments was posted as ACS, transport and civil aviation department in place of Avtar Singh, who was posted as principal secretary, women and child development department against a vacant post.
Ram Niwas, ACS, health department was given the additional charge of additional chief secretary, medical education and research department against a vacant post.
Vijai Vardhan, ACS, higher education, archives and cultural affairs departments would look after the work of additional chief secretary, archaeology and museums department.
Chander Parkash, director general, state transport and secretary, transport department was posted as transport commissioner, Haryana and secretary, transport department.
Vinay Singh, director, supplies and disposal, and special secretary, Home-I department went as director general, state transport and secretary, transport department. Also, he will look after the work of director, supplies and disposals.
Ajay Singh Tomar, awaiting order of posting was posted as sub divisional officer (civil), Ambala and estate officer, HUDA, Ambala.
Meanwhile, an HCS officer, Shakti Singh, SDO (c)-cum-additional collector, Ambala and estate officer, HUDA, Ambala was also posted as commissioner, municipal corporation, Ambala relieving Mandip Singh Brar of the said charge.