The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Second shuffle in four months
- Koda’s method in musical chair

Ranchi, Jan. 12: Chief minister Madhu Koda today conducted the second major bureaucratic reshuffle in the last four months and opted for new incumbents in home, finance, personnel and mines and geology departments, among others.

The musical chair witnessed 13 departmental secretaries being changed.

The transfers smacked of compulsions of coalition politics and Koda is perceived to have succumbed to the pressure exerted by his ministers. Virtually all of them have had their way in having a preferred officer and in getting rid of officers they believed were defiant. The posting of both Shivendu and Mridula Sinha, his wife, was left pending. Both are on long leave.

Koda also displayed a perverse sense of humour while transferring Rajbala Verma, who was having a running battle of attrition with agriculture minister Nalin Soren, to the department of animal husbandry. Verma is known to have been rated very highly by Lalu Prasad, who is an accused in the animal husbandry scam.

The railway minister had publicly recommended a “good posting” for Verma when he visited Ranchi in November to attend the foundation day celebrations. It is not clear if Lalu Prasad wanted her to be put in charge of animal husbandry or whether Koda decided to return the compliment. Verma’s husband J.B. Tubid was also relieved of his charge as the home secretary. Tubid apparently was not pulling along with the new director-general of police, J. Mahapatra.

Also transferred after three-year-term in cabinet coordination and water and sanitation departments were Aditya Swaroop and Sudhir Prasad, respectively. Swaroop was replaced by Tubid, while Prasad was shifted to post of registrar-general.

Two IAS officers, however, seem to enjoy the confidence of their political masters. A.K. Basu, the blue-eyed boy of Chandra Prakash Choudhary, has been given additional charge of water and sanitation department. Basu now holds charge of as many as three departments, namely information technology, science and technology and water & sanitation — all the portfolios held by Choudhary.

The other is S.K. Choudhary. For long the secretary to the department of tourism, Choudhary had been given the additional charge of land revenue and land reforms immediately after the UPA government took charge. Today he was given the charge of the cooperative department as well.

Sudhir Tripathy, at present the energy secretary, will be the new home secretary while Aditya Swaroop has been moved to the energy department. Mukhtiyar Singh, who had been the personnel secretary for quite some time, has been shifted to finance, while Santosh Kumar Satpathy, currently secretary to the mines and geology department, will be new personnel secretary.

B.K. Tripathy takes over as mines and geology secretary. He had been holding three posts at three places — Jamshedpur, Chaibasa and Hazaribagh — as administrator of Subernarekha Multipurpose Project and divisional commissioner, respectively. Jai Shankar Tiwary, at present secretary in the registration department, will relieve him as commissioner of both North Chhotanagpur and Kolhan. Water resources secretary Mahabir Prasad will be the new administrator of SMP.

Anoop Kishore Sharan, the state administrative service officer, who is out on bail in a sleaze case and has been waiting for posting, has been sent back to the revenue and land reforms department.

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