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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Bengal chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi secures extension of service for six months after Delhi gives nod

1988-batch IAS officer will continue in the post till December 31

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 01.07.23, 04:19 AM
H.K. Dwivedi.

H.K. Dwivedi. File photo

Bengal chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi, who was supposed to retire on Friday, secured an extension of service for six months.

The 1988-batch IAS officer will continue in the post till December 31.

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The state government had sent a proposal to extend the service of Dwivedi to the department of personnel and training (DoPT), the cadre controlling authority of IAS officers, in New Delhi a few weeks ago. The approval via a letter dated June 28 from the Centre reached Nabanna on Friday morning.

The extension of service of Dwivedi will help the state administration maintain continuity just ahead of the panchayat polls scheduled for July 8.

“If the proposal for the extension of service had not been granted, the state would have to appoint a new chief secretary ahead of the rural polls. As the chief secretary handles all poll-related affairs on behalf of the administration, the continuity would have been broken. This could have created some trouble in holding the polls properly,” said a senior official.

Dwivedi’s service extension holds significance as leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari had reservations about granting service extension to the chief secretary, sources said.

“He (Adhikari) had earlier accused the chief secretary of drawing house rent allowance unlawfully. He had also demanded a vigilance inquiry against him. When the file for extending the service of the chief secretary was sent, Adhikari lobbied the powers that be in Delhi to ensure that his tenure was not extended,” said a source.

Sources said the Bengal government had mentioned in the proposal that the tenure of Dwivedi could be extended as the Centre had already granted two extensions each to the chief secretaries of UP and MP.

“As the Centre had earlier approved the tenures of the chief secretaries of two BJP-ruled states (UP and MP) without any major reason, it could not reject the proposal of Bengal even though the leader of the Opposition had reservations,” said an official.

A section of the officials, however, was not happy with the extension of Dwivedi for no apparent reason as they feel that such extensions block the career development of other officers in the cadre.

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