A principal secretary is quite happy and contended, despite not being in the mainstream. The senior officer is not only making money but his clout in the government has grown and he is having his way. Recently, he extorted a big amount from a person occupying an important post, without taking a minister into confidence. However, the minister, somehow, came to know of it and he not only conveyed the news to the chief minister but also took the issue to the durbar of the RSS. But even that could not harm the PS, though the person who had paid the money ended up the loser. The PS keeps on forcing persons on key posts to cough up money in the name of complaints against them. The government knows about the antics of the PS but as no one is willing to take up the position held by him, it is reluctant to shunt him out.
A PS-level officer is quite upset with the government. He does not know why he is always at the receiving end. The PS was holding the charge of an important department. But sometime back, he was transferred to a less important one. Interestingly, the chief minister had profusely praised him at a meeting on the day on which his transfer orders were issued. After hearing the praise, he was sure that the rumours of his transfer were just that – rumours. But once the orders were issued, his confidence gave way to bitterness. The PS had improved the functioning of almost every department where he was posted but he is unable to comprehend why the government is always displeased with him. In the new department too, he is unlikely to go along well with the minister. The minister is guided by political expediency in taking decisions, while the PS is a stickler for rules. That rules out the possibility of them building a rapport with each other.
The discussions over who would head the publicity wing of the government are continuing over the past couple of months. Every few days, a new name crops up. The names of at least three IAS officers were prominently mentioned in this connection. All of them have been given new postings in the recent administrative reshuffle but they are still desirous of taking over the command of this department. The name of an IPS officer is also under consideration. This soft-spoken and friendly officer is known for his cordial ways and is keen to head the publicity setup of the government. He is said to be very close to the chief minister and hence will face no problems in building rapport with the people at the top. But the government is wary of handing over the job of publicising its achievements to a cop in the election year.
The chief secretary wants to change the assignments of officers posted in three key departments. The government was about to inter-change their assignments when one of the PSs got a wind of it and ensured that the move was stalled. Because of that, not only the transfer of this officer but also of the two others was put on hold. Now, the exercise for changing the departments of the officers in the next reshuffle has begun afresh. The three officers wield considerable clout in the government. Their ministers are also keeping an eye on the developments. The officers are posted in these departments for long and that is also one reason why many officers are keen to replace them. It remains to be seen whether the head of the bureaucracy succeeds in inter-changing their departments.
The wife of a minister is much in news in his department. Whenever anyone approaches the minister in connection with any departmental work, he redirects them to his wife. The wife then quotes the rates for the work. The wife stay put in the capital for the entire transfer season this year. It is said that nothing moves in the department without greasing the palms of the minister. There is hardly any officer in the department who has not been forced to pay tributes to the minister. To make things easier for him, the minister has got junior officers of his choice posted in his personal staff. In the recent administrative reshuffle, the PS of the minister’s department was changed. The minister could successfully bully the earlier PS but the new one is a hard nut to crack. This has made the minister and his wife worried. A tug of war between the minister and the PS may ensue soon.
In hot water
The recent Income Tax raids may land an IAS officer in hot water. The I-T officials have recovered some documents from one of the spots that were raided, which apparently say that some amount meant for him was paid to another officer. Now it is the I-T officials who have to decide whether and how much importance they want to give to the discovery. This IAS officer, once upon a time, had close ties with one of the persons whose establishments were raided and the officer had also helped him in many ways. And this will be not very difficult to prove. The IAS officer knows this and that has made him worried. The officer has made big money but has not left any trail behind. The bureaucrat has always been occupying good positions and is known for his skills at keeping everyone happy. But if the I-T authorities dig deeper, trouble may visit the officer.