The state government reshuffled the posts of 18 senior IAS officers on Saturday as chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan brought back his long-time confidant Iqbal Singh Bains from central deputation to appoint him as his principal secretary.
It was the third round of bureaucratic reshuffle in about 10 days, a staggered overhaul of Chouhan’s administration which has been embroiled in a massive corruption scandal involving the Professional Examination Board. Bains' appointment is being seen as the latest in a string of transfers that Chouhan hopes will help him not only whip his administration into shape but also help him firefight the charges of corruption against his government.
Besides Bains, two other officers seen as close to Chouhan were appointed to key positions in the home department and the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB).
While MM Upadhyay, who was agriculture produce commissioner, was appointed the chairman of MPPEB, BP Singh moved as principal secretary of forest and tourism to take up the same post in the home department.
A 1985 batch IAS officer, Bains was on central deputation as joint secretary in the Overseas Indians Affairs ministry in New Delhi. He served as principal secretary to Chouhan from the time the latter was sworn in as CM till 2010.
The significance of Bains’ appointment could be gauged from the fact that the government announced the latest reshuffle on an official holiday. The government had held off on reshuffling principal secretaries until Bains’ return to his home cadre on Thursday.
In Saturday’s rejig, additional charges were given to 12 officers.
Sources said another round of transfer of principal secretary-level officers is in the offing.
MM Upadhyay who was agriculture produce commissioner has been made the chairman of MP Professional Examination Board (PEB). BP Singh, PS of forest, tourism has been made the PS home. RK Swai, who was PS home has been shifted as agriculture produce commissioner.
AP Shrivastava, chairman of PEB, has been made the PS of forest department, PC Meena, PS of tribal welfare has been shifted as PS prisons. KK Singh, PS (PWD) has become PS (higher education), BR Naidu, PS (women and child welfare) has been shifted to tribal welfare department, Ashish Upadhayay, commissioner institutional finance has been made commissioner of treasury and accounts and PS of finance department. JN Kansotiya, PS (higher education) has been shifted to department of women and child welfare, SB Singh, commissioner, Bhopal division has been made secretary (home).
Sheoshekhar Shukla, commissioner of Ujjain division has given posting as secretary (mining) and managing director of Mining Development Corporation, RK Mathur, commissioner of Sagar division has been shifted to Bhopal division, Ajatshatru Shrivastava, secretary of mineral resources has been given full time charge as commissioner of archaeology, archives and museums, Neeraj Dubey, managing director of mineral development department has been made collector of Khargone, Ravikant Jain has been given posting as additional commissioner (transport) while Shekhar Verma, chief executive officer of Guna has been made collector of Alirajpur.