Published On : Tue, Dec 4th, 2018

Speculations rife over who would be next Chief Secretary : Ajoy Mehta or UPS Madan?


Nagpur: Bureaucratic circles in Maharashtra are agog with speculations as the high-level reshuffle is in the offing. Curiosity could be at peak over who would be the next Chief Secretary. Similarly, all eyes and ears would be on other key positions as major bureaucratic reshuffle seems a distinct possibility before the Assembly elections likely to be held early next year.

Come January the 4th of 2019, five high profile officers complete four years at one designation. They are Dr. Nitin Kareer, Manisha Mhaiskar, Manukumar Shrivastava, Vikas Kharge and Rajiv Jalota. What would be their next posting is talk in bureaucratic circles. Well, the position would become clear at the end of this month. Insiders know it but hesitate to hazard a guess.

According to insiders, focus is now who becomes the next Chief Secretary in January. Will it be Ajoy Mehta or UPS Madan claiming the top post? The whole of bureaucratic circles point towards Madan rather than the most awaited to-be-CS-Ajoy Mehta. Mehta could be the next choice, but seniority seems to be placing Madan in advantage. If Madan steals the show, then how Mehta would be compensated? Is the pertinent question weighing in the minds of other bureaucrats. Porwal is retiring this month, so the State could see Mehta occupying the next best post — ACS Home in the event of Madan taking charge as the next Chief Secretary. But the equation seems not simple as it appears. One more key bureaucrat Pravin Pardeshi could be in quest to become the next CS? For this to happen, the current CS, D.K. Jain will have to be given two extensions and then only Pardeshi can directly claim the top post in State. If D K Jain is given first extension of 3 months, and then twice for one month, then it could the case for Pardeshi as he would be “fit” to be become the next CS. However, with elections nearing, the Chief Minister might want to “safeguard” Pardeshi . The chances of him becoming the new BMC Commissioner are bright too, the insiders said.

In the case of Dr. Nitin Kareer, insiders inform, his request of heading the Public Health Department has been declined politely by the Chief Minister. Anyway, the request was done some 1.5 years ago by Kareer himself. The request was in the aftermath of a “debacle” report of health department that was published in a leading newspaper upsetting the CM. Kareer, himself a torch bearer of clean administration, reportedly told the Chief Minister that if we want our state to grow, education and public health are two departments that need to be in our control….he wanted to head Public Health Department when he had already completed 3 years at the Urban Development. But now, it seems either becoming the new BMC Commissioner end of this month, or getting an extension at the same post at UD 1 or getting Revenue is what Kareer will get, the insider sources revealed.

Reliable sources further point out that Manisha Mhaiskar might get extension at the same UD -II or at the most she might be given charge of Sales Tax Commissioner. She has been brilliant at the Smart City Project including handling Corporations in the State more than efficiently. Housing Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Sanjay Kumar will be where he is. He won’t get UD-1, that occupies Dr. Nitin Kareer now. In a surprise element, if and when Manisha Mhaiskar is shifted to Sales Tax, Thane Municipal Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal can be brought to UD-II. Ashwini Joshi, current Excise Commissioner is lobbying for the Thane Municipal Commissioner’s post, which she might be granted. Deepak Kapoor amidst all the rumours of getting changed will continue to be the SRA CEO.