Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has issued an ultimatum to the IAS officers who have not yet reported to the departments to which they were transferred, 10 days ago. Being told that no changes will be made to the order, the officers have been asked to join their new departments by Friday.
Eight IAS officers are yet to take charge of the new posts they have been designated, through a transfer order that was issued on January 3. The officers include Debashish Chakravarty (1986 batch), who has been transferred as principal secretary of the school education and sports department, Rajgopal Devara (1992 batch), appointed as secretary of the tribal development department, Parag Jain-Nainutiya (1996 batch), who has been transferred as head of the agri-industrial development corporation, AL Jarhad (1997 batch) appointed as education commissioner, and Ashish Sharma (1997 batch), appointed as land settlement commissioner.
Fadnavis’ transfer order for 42 IAS officers had prompted unrest among the concerned officers as well as ministers. Fadnavis had later clarified that he had held discussions with ministers and taken the senior officers into confidence, before announcing the transfers. Ten days since the order was passed, 34 of the transferred officers have assumed their new charge, but the remaining have made attempts to get the orders cancelled for preferred postings.
“Fadnavis has now given an ultimatum to the officers, who have been asked to report to work by Friday. Since most of them have relinquished their old posts, the officers will be considered on leave for the period they are in abeyance. The message has been conveyed to them and they are expected to join in a day or two,” said an official from the general administration department.
Some of the transferred officers want to remain in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, while others feel the posts given to them are not in keeping with their experience and calibre. In some cases, the officers don’t want to work with the ministers who control the departments they have been transferred to.
Sources said only a few of the officers may manage to get the order cancelled if Fadnavis is convinced by their arguments, but most will have to fall in line.
School education minister Vinod Tawde said, “The school education department is likely get a new officer in the next 10-12 days. Till then, the outgoing secretary Ashwini Bhide is holding additional charge. I never asked for any particular officer or objected to any name. It is collective work and I am committed to the best performance with any given officer.”