Who will be Telanganas next Chief Secretary? This is the question that is doing the rounds in bureaucratic circles with the present Chief Secretary S.K.Joshi due for superannuation by December end.
Mr. Joshi,who got close to two-year tenure as CS, will step down on December 31 and there are no indications that the government is keen on seeking extension for him. This leaves the race for the successor among the cadre of Special Chief Secretary.
Going by virtue of seniority, 1983 batch officer B.P.Acharya, DG, MCRHRD is senior-most. But interestingly, he was superseded by Mr. Joshi as CS last time. If Mr. Acharya misses the bus, Binoy Kumar is next senior-most bureaucrat presently with the Centre. And, then comes Ajay Mishra, a 1984 batch officer, who has been in the State for a long time.
Official sources watching the developments point out that Mr. Mishra too stand a good chance if the other two seniors are overlooked. He has seven months of service and enjoys reputation as an affable, seasoned, non-controversial and efficient officer who keeps a low profile and does the assigned work without much ado, they pointed out.
Officials do not rule out some other officers such as Somesh Kumar and Chitra Ramachandran being considered for the top post. Since the formation of Telangana, the State has seen Rajiv Sharma as the first Chief Secretary of Telangana. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao chose to go by the seniority and his successor Pradeep Chandra, selected on the basis of being the senior-most bureaucrat. Mr. Chandra after one-month tenure was succeeded by S.P.Singh.
However, Mr. Joshi superseded Mr. Acharya as Chief Secretary. It was pointed out that the cases against Mr. Acharya went against him. But, some officers point out that in neighbouring AP, L.V.Subramanyam, who also faced charges in the quid pro quo case of Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy was made the Chief Secretary. If that criteria is followed, Mr. Acharya still stands a chance.