Swearing-in ceremony of HPPSC chairperson called off at last minute

Updated on Aug 19, 2022 06:37 AM IST

The Jai Ram Thakur-led HP government had appointed Rachna Gupta, currently a member of the HPPSC, as its chairperson by way of notification issued late on Wednesday

Though the Raj Bhawan cited busy schedule of the governor as the reason for the cancellation of the ceremony, sources said the BJP high command was unhappy over the appointments. (Image for representational purpose)
Though the Raj Bhawan cited busy schedule of the governor as the reason for the cancellation of the ceremony, sources said the BJP high command was unhappy over the appointments. (Image for representational purpose)
By, Shimla

In an unprecedented move, the Raj Bhawan cancelled the swearing-in ceremony of the Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (HPPSC) chairperson and its members. It is for the first time that a swearing-in ceremony has been called off.

The Jai Ram Thakur-led HP government had appointed Rachna Gupta, currently a member of the HPPSC, as its chairperson by way of notification issued late on Wednesday.

IAS officers Rakesh Sharma, Colonel Rajesh Kumar Sharma (retd), and Prof Om Prakash Sharma were appointed as its members.

Though the Raj Bhawan cited busy schedule of the governor as the reason for the cancellation of the ceremony, sources said the BJP high command was unhappy over the appointments. The ceremony was cancelled after the central leadership raised a ‘red flag’.

Also, it has been learnt that Rachna Gupta declined to join as the chairperson citing personal reasons.

It may be noted that Rakesh Sharma, who was the special secretary to chief minister and director, vigilance, had applied for voluntary retirement after his appointment as a member of the public service commission.

The swearing-in ceremony was scheduled for 8.30am on Thursday and even the invitation cards had been distributed.

Jai Ram being remote-controlled by Delhi: Congress

Himachal Pradesh Congress’ election campaign committee head Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu took a sly dig at chief minister Jai Ram Thakur after the cancellation of swearing-in ceremony at the last moment.

“We have already said that chief minister Jai Ram Thakur is remote-controlled by Delhi. The cancellation of the swearing-in ceremony of the HPPSC chairperson and its members has proven this fact,” Sukhu said in a video statement.

He said the chief minister decided to make the appointments and the file was sent to the governor, who approved his decision. “Even a notification was issued and invitation cards for the swearing-in ceremony were also printed,” he added.

“The CM is answerable to the public as to why the swearing-in ceremony was cancelled,” Sukhu said.

The Nadaun MLA said similar things happened recently when the chief secretary was replaced.

“While the chief minister denied having made any decision to replace the chief secretary, he was removed the very next day,” he added.

Sukhu said the episode has made it clear that “no one listens to Jai Ram and all the decisions are made by the central leadership”.

“A government which is unable to make decisions on its own can’t rule the state efficiently,” he added.

Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president Naresh Chauhan, whose also is in charge of party’s media affairs, also held a press conference in Shimla on Thursday.

He questioned the cancellation of the ceremony and slammed the state government over the appointments.

“Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur must clarify before the people of Himachal what prompted his government to make appointments and later put them on hold. The public service commission is a constitutional and prestigious body. The government’s actions are raising doubts,” he added.

Alka Lamba also slams CM

Anticipating its defeat in the upcoming elections, the BJP government has started distributing ‘revadis’ to near and dear ones, said AICC spokesperson Alka Lamba.

“After being embroiled in controversies , they are looking for excuses to postpone the swearing-in ceremony. Questions are being raised against the chief minister even within the BJP regarding the appointment of Rachna Gupta. The matter reached the PM,” tweeted AICC spokesperson Alka Lamba

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gaurav Bisht heads Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.

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