Overheard In Bhopal: About Shattered Dreams, Officers In Dilemma, Minister’s Defeat And More

Overheard In Bhopal: About Shattered Dreams, Officers In Dilemma, Minister’s Defeat And More

An in-charge chief secretary is running the state bureaucracy, and nobody knows what is going to happen in the coming days.

NITENDRA SHARMAUpdated: Monday, December 11, 2023, 01:18 AM IST
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Overheard In Bhopal |

Uncertainty continues

An in-charge chief secretary is running the state bureaucracy, and nobody knows what is going to happen in the coming days. There are whispers in the corridors of power that if the present Chief Minister is given the command of the state, the CS will retire on the same post, which means she may be given a chance to continue. If the regime changes, there will be a problem for madam who is heading the state bureaucracy. If any other person is handed over the reins of power, he may change the head of the state bureaucracy. So all eyes are set on what is going to happen on the evening of December 11, when the BJP Legislative Party will meet to elect its leader. Many officers have set up their chessboard accordingly. Some powerful people are also making efforts, so that madam is not removed. These people are waiting for the new chief minister to take over. Otherwise also many people are trying to please the leader whose name is doing the rounds for the post of CM.

Dreams shattered

The results of the recently held assembly election in Madhya Pradesh have shattered the dreams of many officers. An Additional Chief Secretary-rank officer got ready with his plans, thinking that the Congress was set to form a government. The officer met the likely CM candidate of the Congress and discussed with him all the plans – from swearing-in ceremony to running the government. Sahib was tipped to be posted to the CM’s secretariat, but the election outcome rattled him. Now he seems to be at sea. The problem with this officer is that he is going to retire, so he has to lobby for everything he yearns for during the BJP rule. Similar is the problem of a secretary-rank officer. He was waiting for the Congress to form a government, so that he might get a plum posting. There are whispers that the officer met a powerful Congress leader and made some commitments to him. Now that the poll outcome was opposite to what he had expected it to be, the secretary-rank officer is also in shock.

Officers in dilemma

Seven days have passed since the results of the assembly election were declared, but the ruling party could not elect a chief minister. This situation has sent the bureaucrats into a tizzy. A senior IAS officer has congratulated several probable chief ministerial candidates. Likewise when the election results were not out, he was having a fling at wooing the Congress leaders, but the election results have broken his hearts. Now this officer is busy pleasing the BJP leaders, but he does not know who he should pursue. Although the election results have been declared, yet it is not known who is going to be the next chief minister. This is the reason why when he tries to please one probable candidate for the post of chief minister, the name of another leader for the top job crops up. There are reports that the officer is in touch with all those who are contesting for the chair, thinking lest one of them should be the next CM.

Waiting for their term

Two collectors, removed immediately after the election process began, long for getting their position back. These are the two officers who lost their collectorship during the election. There were complaints against many officers, but they were not removed from their positions, so both the officers began to lobby for getting back their position. If it is not possible for the administration to send them back to their previous districts, they are ready to go to any other place. The BJP’s victory has strengthened their hopes of getting their collectorship back. But because the ruling party has failed to select a chief ministerial candidate, they are holding their fire until the ruling dispensation chooses a chief ministerial candidate.  Even if a chief minister is elected, it should not be expected of him to make any administrative reshuffle just after taking over the reins of power. Because a new chief secretary has been appointed, these two collectors are in a dilemma over getting back their lost positions.

Minister’s defeat

The defeat of a minister of a department has delighted its employees more than the Congress leaders. From the IAS officers of the department to the lower-rank employees are happy about it – because the minister used to harass them. The department handles various types of projects, but the minister was putting a spanner in all the works. The agents of the minister were ruling the roost in the department, so the employees heaved a sigh of relief after his defeat. The minister reportedly gathered a lot of cabbage through some officers of the department. Likewise the employees of another department, including its director, are happy, since their minister has received a whipping in the election. The disputes between the minister and madam were a matter of discussion among the officials, so she is unable to hide her happiness after his drubbing.

Ready to return

A principal secretary (PS), who is holding an important position at the Centre, may return to the state. The PS went to the Centre on deputation after the Congress formed a government in the state. When the BJP returned to power after dethroning the Congress, the PS was also keen to come back, but it did not happen because of certain conditions. Because the BJP has returned to power after winning the election, there are talks about the PS’s comeback. Though the PS is holding an important position in Delhi, he is keen to come back to the state. The PS has built a house in Bhopal and he visits the state to look after it. He wants to stay in the state capital permanently. 

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