Chief Secretary J.P. Dange seems to be following his boss, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s, footsteps. Dange left on a six-day tour to Spain and France on Sunday without handing over his charge to any one in the state secretariat.
Chavan had gone for a 12-day official trip to the US, Singapore and Malaysia on June 13, without handing over charge to his deputy, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal.
The protocol calls for Dange to write to the next in charge, in this case, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar, to officiate in his absence. Instead, Dange left with instructions stating, “if there is anything of urgent nature then it will be handled by ACS (Home)”.
“It’s unfortunate because this is well-established protocol. The idea is that in your absence, some one should be shadowing your office and duties so that work is not affected,” said a bureaucrat.
Dange and housing secretary Sitaram Kunte have gone as part of Government of India delegation to study affordable housing in the European Union.
Dange is expected to be in office on Monday. Chavan had not only left for his tour without handing over charge to anyone but he had also split charge of his departments among junior ministers instead of entrusting senior ministers next in line.