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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Three months on, UP govt yet to appoint chief secretary

lucknow Updated: Dec 02, 2019 22:50 IST

The Uttar Pradesh government has not made a regular appointment to the post of chief secretary for the past three months.

Agriculture production commissioner (APC) RK Tiwari has been functioning as the acting chief secretary following the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey from the post on August 31. The delay in the appointment of a full-fledged chief secretary has become a talking point in the corridors of power here.

“Yes, APC RK Tiwari is working as the acting chief secretary,” said a senior officer.

As chief secretary, Pandey was considered to be the choice of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. A regular chief secretary will also be obviously the chief minister’s choice.

RK Tiwari, an IAS officer of the 1985-batch, is considered to be top contender for the post as he has a clean image and has been discharging all his duties as the acting chief secretary.

He continues to function in the capacity of APC and also holds additional charge of some departments as the additional chief secretary.

The appointment of the chief secretary or other top bureaucratic posts is generally made in advance and usually before the incumbent relinquishes his/her office.

So, there was speculation about various names when Pandey was due to retire.

Union agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal and union housing and urban affairs secretary DS Mishra were considered to be strong contenders for the post at the time.

But it was RK Tiwari who was asked to take charge as the acting chief secretary.

Agarwal appears to be out of contention now following questions over his alleged role as chairman of the provident fund trust of the UPPCL employees.

While the delay intrigues many, there is speculation about whether there is a difference of opinion in the BJP or the chief minister is waiting for an appropriate time to make the appointment after consulting the party’s top brass.

“We are not aware of the reasons for the delay in making a regular appointment to the top post,” said a senior government functionary.

UP BJP general secretary Vijay Pathak said appointment of the chief secretary was made by the chief minister and he would do so following the set procedure.

“The chief minister has to take a decision on appointment of the new chief secretary. It’s a set procedure and the chief minister will take a decision on the issue,” said Pathak.