Sitaram Kunte retires, becomes principal advisor to CM; Debashish Chakrabarty takes over as interim CS
Maharashtra chief secretary Sitaram Kunte retired from service on Tuesday as he did not get an extension from the central government. He handed over charge to Debashish Chakrabarty, additional chief secretary, planning department.
Meanwhile, Kunte was appointed as principal advisor to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray within hours after his retirement. “Considering his vast experience in administration, Sitaram Kunte, who retired from service recently, has been appointed as principal advisor to the chief minister,” stated a release issued by the chief minister office (CMO).
The state government had sought an extension of three months for Kunte. He had been appointed to the post on February 28. If officially appointed, Chakrabarty will get just three months of tenure as he is retiring from service in February 2022.
“Hand the charge of chief secretary to Debashish Chakrabarty and retire...,” stated the order issued by Sujata Saunik, additional chief secretary, general administration (services) for the incumbent chief secretary on Tuesday.
The 1986 batch officer is not the seniormost in the state administration. Vandana Krishna, additional chief secretary, school education and Sham Lal Goyal, resident commissioner and additional chief secretary joined the services in 1985. However, Goyal is retiring next month while Krishna will also retire in February 2022.
Last time, the then chief secretary Ajoy Mehta got two extensions one in the erstwhile Devendra Fadanvis-led government and the second one in the current dispensation. In 2019, Mehta was due to retire on September 30 when he was given an unusual six months extension in view of the state assembly polls, following a request by the Fadnavis government. The Centre again gave him another extension of three months, following the outbreak of the Covid-pandemic. He retired in June last year. After retirement, he was also appointed as principal advisor to the chief minister.