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regular-article-logo Saturday, 22 June 2024

1989-batch IAS officer B.P. Gopalika to take over as new chief secretary of Bengal

He is known to be an intelligent officer who can handle situations in a difficult time, says a bureaucrat

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 28.12.23, 04:48 AM
H.K. Dwivedi.

H.K. Dwivedi. File picture

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday informed the state cabinet that B.P. Gopalika, a 1989-batch IAS officer and current home secretary, would take over as the new chief secretary of Bengal after the tenure of incumbent H.K. Dwivedi comes to an end on December 31.

"The chief minister said that B. P. Gopalika will be the next chief secretary of the state during the cabinet meeting on Wednesday. As he was present in the cabinet meeting as the home secretary, we all congratulated him," said a minister, who was present in the meeting.

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Gopalika, who had earlier worked in the transport, animal resources development and personnel and administrative reforms departments as secretary, holds the home department and personnel and administrative reforms department portfolios currently.

"He is known to be an intelligent officer who can handle situations in a difficult time... This is why the chief minister has kept faith in him before Lok Sabha polls. As the chief secretary, he would have to conduct the Lok Sabha polls as the administrative head of the state within a few months," said a bureaucrat.

Gopalika will remain chief secretary till May 31, 2024, if he does not get his tenure extended like Dwivedi, who in June got a six-month extension.

BJP leaders said Mamata had to appoint Gopalika after the Centre rejected a plea from her government to give another six-month extension to Dwivedi.

"We raised strong objections over the state's proposal to give the current chief secretary a second extension. We are happy that the Union government did not respond to the appeal of Dwivedi's further extension," said Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and BJP Nandigram MLA.

Adhikari claimed the Centre also rejected a plea for an extension of Manoj Malaviya, the just-retired DGP.

Speculation has started over who would be the Bengal home secretary. "Names of Vivek Kumar, a 1990 batch IAS officer and Manoj Pant, a 1991 batch officer, are doing rounds. But it is also being said that there could be a surprise appointment in the post," said a source.

Sources also said that as Rajeev Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer, is the acting DGP, the government may prefer a much junior IAS officer as the home secretary to avert any ego clash ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

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