Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh):
The state administration has struck a bad patch these days: for the first time, an in-charge chief secretary has been heading the bureaucracy for a long time. The government perhaps wants to run the administration with an in-charge CS until it finds a permanent officer for the post. It is heard that an officer, working on deputation for the Central Government, may take over as the CS, but it is not known when he will be sent back to the state. Because an in-charge CS is running the administration, the officers are waiting for a permanent CS. On the other hand, the in-charge CS wants to continue till her retirement.
The officer, who has so far avoided handling important assignments, is unwilling to quit the position of CS. Since the Central Government has virtually taken over the reins of power in the state, it is all set to select an officer to head the state bureaucracy.
Change of season
Despite the ruling party’s return to power, a new government seems to have taken over the state. Most of the bureaucrats, sensing this change, are promoting their own welfare, and a principal secretary (PS) is having a swing at staying in power. When the Congress formed a government, there was an impact on many officers, but the PS got a plum posting through his clout. Similarly, the smart officer got a posting of his choice when the BJP returned to power after ousting the Congress. The officer has again become active to get an important assignment, because he knows, he will be shifted from the department he is heading. He has set his eyes on a department for which he has been having a crack at for a long time. The relatives of the PS also want to see him in this department, so that they may expand their business.
Lady Luck is smiling at a man close to the state bureaucracy. Because he is on good terms with many officers working for the Centre and for the state government, he is just blissed out. Immediately after the Model Code of Conduct was lifted, he plunged into action. As he is on good terms with a few officers holding important positions, he has told his aides to knock his doors if they want to get anything done through the government. This broker is in fact friends with a retired officer who is wielding power these days. He plans to get some important work done through the retired bureaucrat. Once this Sahib made a huge amount of cabbage through this man and got it invested through him. Now both want to make money. Another officer has fallen into the trap of this man through whom both are making a lot of dough.
A principal secretary (PS) has realised how soured relations may impact anyone. His failure to understand that has put him in a tight spot after the formation of the new government. A few days before the Model Code of Conduct was implemented, the PS had locked horns with a minister who asked the officer to do some work. He not only refused to do that but also bandied words with the minister who took the officer's conduct to his heart. The minister had complained to the higher-ups about it, but nobody paid any heed. The time has changed; and the minister has been handed over the command of the state. As soon the minister took over as the head of the state, he stewed the PS. He not only hauled the PS over the coals but also punished him, and still is in a mood to teach him a lesson. There are whispers in the corridors of power that if the officer does not get a posting in Delhi, he will always get a rollicking from his new boss.
An IPS officer is very happy these days. He has always got important assignments, but, in the past few years, good postings eluded him, despite his clout in the administration. Now this IPS officer hopes to get a posting in a place of his choice. He is on good terms with two politicians and both have become powerful these days. Sahib craves for the post of police commissioner in one of the two important cities. The government may post police commissioners in these cities in the coming days. But some political reasons may get in the way of his posting to one of the cities. So, the officer is trying to get posted in the state capital and lobbying for it. At the same time, the officer already posted in the state capital also wields power, so it will be difficult for him to get his counterpart shifted from Bhopal. There are reports that a list of IPS officers, to be given important positions, is being prepared. The officer is waiting for the list to be out, so that he may get the plum posting.
It is the season of change in the state. As part of it, a collector of an important district, and the commissioner of a municipal corporation, are set to go out. The administration has already taken a decision to shift these officers from their present places of posting, and begun to search for new faces for these positions. An officer, has almost been chosen as municipal commissioner. A powerful politician recommended the name of this officer for the job. Likewise, the name of an officer is doing the rounds for the collectorship. Besides these two officers, the government is mulling over some other names whom it may send as collector to the district. It is such an important district that every officer yearns to go there. This is the reason why several officers are lobbying for it.