The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi sops for Koda govt refuge

Ranchi, April 17: State Congress chief Pradeep Balmuchu today cleared the air over Vijender Goel’s appointment as the special representative of the government in Delhi.

“He had played a crucial role in the formation of the Madhu Koda government by giving shelter to a few UPA legislators,” Balmuchu told The Telegraph.

The quid pro quo from Koda notwithstanding, a debate has been spiralling in the official circles about Goel’s role in the already over-staffed Jharkhand Bhavan.

The reins of the state bastion in the national capital is already in the hands of resident commissioner (RC) Rajiv Gauba and S.K.G. Rahate, a secretary rank officer, who has been posted as an additional resident commissioner (ARC).

Besides, the state government has posted Anjani Kumar, another senior IAS officer, as officer on special duty (OSD) to coordinate with the Planning Commission.

On the other hand, C.K. Mishra, an IAS officer, mans the Bihar Bhavan as its resident commissioner.

Sources said a resident commissioner, too, was handling charges of the Jharkhand Bhavan initially. It was during the tenure of B.K. Chauhan that A.N. Prasad, an IFS officer, was posted as the additional resident commissioner. The tradition has continued since.

The sources contended that the posting of two senior IAS officers was made under some compulsions only. Besides, Vinayak has been posted as private secretary to the chief minister in Delhi.

Ironically, the “surplus” posting of officers makes no difference as the secretaries make frequent trips to Delhi on the pretext of meetings, the sources further said.

They added in a jocular vein that the number of trips made by the officers earn them enough points on an airline to buy tickets for their families, too.

Sources said the presence of secretaries is imperative for a meeting on specific issue only where the RC or the ARC prove to be insufficient.

If that is so, what exactly is the role of Vijender Goel' The man himself has a ready answer. “My job would be to liaison at the political level, while the RC and the ARC deal with the officials only. My brief is to get the proposals cleared if they are stuck at the ministerial level,” he said.

Goel further asserted that he was entitled for a vehicle fitted with red beacon.

“I will remove it the moment it flouts the norms,” he said. Ironically, R.N. Tiwary, whom Goel replaced, did not use the red beacon.

The man from Haryana, nevertheless, asserted that he has taken up the assignment “seriously”. “I reached the office exactly at 10 today and took stock of the jobs trusted to different officers,” he signed off with a smile.

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