The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana on Wednesday made major shake-up in the health and medical education sector, shifting two top officials and divesting an officer handling these departments in the chief minister's office (CMO) of their charge.
The shifting of additional chief secretary (ACS), health and medical education, Ram Niwas, and stripping additional principal secretary to chief minister (APSCM), Rakesh Gupta, of charge of health, medical education and education departments in the CMO is clearly a fall out of their strained relations with health minister Anil Vij.
Special principal secretary to CM, Rajesh Khullar, will now handle heath, medical education and education departments in CMO.
Vij in fact had recommended a vigilance probe into the utilisation of funds in National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) during the tenure of Gupta as mission director. Last week, in a meeting chaired by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, he had ticked off Gupta for being too interfering. The APSCM, in fact, was also having a torrid time with education minister, Ram Bilas Sharma, as well, a factor, which resulted in his being divested of education department in CMO.
ACS, health and medical education, Ram Niwas, too was learnt to be not getting along with Vij for quite some time.
The transfers, which included shifting out director general, medical education and research, Pradeep Kasni, and posting him to an inconsequential archives department, has a clear message, both for officers and ministers-personal ambitions should be buried in the interest of governance.
Kasni, considered a favourite of health minister, was often accused of being patronised by Vij despite not delivering. There were at least two specific instances when Kasni was found wanting -inordinately delaying the process of inviting applications for filing up the vacancies of vice chancellor, University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, and director, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak, and preparing a wishy-washy report while inquiring the death of former Haryana chief minister Hukam Singh. Khattar had sought a compliance report from Kasni on delay and rejected his inquiry report in Hukum Singh matter.
Who gets what?
Ram Niwas: ACS, irrigation
RR Jowel: Principal secretary, health
KK Khandelwal: ACS, medical education in addition to sports
Pradeep Kasni: Director general, archives
Renu Phulia: Director, medical education and research department and project director, haryana state AIDS control society