Khattar’s aides are now admn secys of Vij’s depts
In an administrative reshuffle, the Haryana government on Friday transferred five IAS officers with immediate effect.
Principal secretary to the chief minister (PSCM), Rajesh Khullar, has been posted as additional chief secretary (ACS), home, jails, criminal investigation and administration of justice of department, in adition to his present duties.
Khullar replaced 1984-batch woman IAS officer, Navraj Sandhu, as the ACS, home, on her retirement from the service on Friday. Another IAS officer in the chief minister’s office, additional principal secretary to the chief minister, V Umashankar was given the additional charge of principal secretary, urban local bodies. Umashankar replaced SN Roy, who was posted as ACS, urban local bodies on Wednesday.
By appointing his two top aides as the administrative secretaries of home and urban local bodies departments, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar seems to have tried to rein in his temperamental cabinet minister, Anil Vij.
A lone ranger, Vij is the minister for both home and urban local bodies departments. A six-time MLA and senior most cabinet minister from the BJP, Vij had joined a select band of elected representatives to become the home minister, a portfolio conventionally held by the chief ministers in the past. However, known for his plain speak and unconventional style of functioning, he has often been at the centre of controversies.
A 1985-batch IAS officer, Dhanpat Singh has been posted as additional chief secretary and financial commissioner, revenue and disaster management, consolidation departments. The post of financial commissioner, revenue, is regarded as the number two position in the state hierarchy after the chief secretary. Singh will continue to hold the charge of housing.
SN Roy was posted as ACS, transport, skill development and industrial training, replacing TC Gupta. Additional resident commissioner, Haryana Bhawan, New Delhi, PC Meena, was posted as director, information and public relations. He replaced Sameer Pal Srow, whose three month re-employment period came to an end on Friday. Meena will continue to hold the charge of additional resident commissioner, Haryana Bhawan.
Vij toned down
Haryana home minister Anil Vij will have no direct control over the intelligence arm of the state government, the criminal investigation department (CID).
As per the Business of the Haryana Government (Allocation) Rules, 1974 , the CID has been incorporated as a part of the home department and is not a separate entity. However, the Friday orders of appointment of the new additional chief secretary (ACS), home, mentions the department as a separate entity. Even the outgoing ACS Navraj Sandhu’s orders had mentioned CID as a separate department.
“This meant that the government thinks of the CID as a separate department while it is actually not. Any change in the Rules can only be done by the council of ministers,’’ said an official familiar with the matter.
Notably, there is no mention of the CID in the November 2019 notification regarding the allocation of portfolios to the ministers. According to it, the home department is allocated to Vij, jails to Ranjit Singh while administration of justice department stays with the chief minister. However, a department which is not allotted to any minister automatically comes to the chief minister, said the notification.
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