Overheard In Bhopal: Scared Officers, Important Trip, Real Boss & More

Overheard In Bhopal: Scared Officers, Important Trip, Real Boss & More

A few officers are scared, because a senior bureaucrat is going to retire next month. They are not actually afraid of his retirement, but they are worried about who will be the new boss of the department.

NITENDRA SHARMAUpdated: Monday, April 29, 2024, 10:22 AM IST
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Overheard In Bhopal: Scared Officers, Important Trip & More |

Scared officers

A few officers are scared, because a senior bureaucrat is going to retire next month. They are not actually afraid of his retirement, but they are worried about who will be the new boss of the department. The position the retiring officer is holding is meant only for a senior bureaucrat. A junior officer is never assigned this responsibility. The officers fear lest one of them should be asked to take up this assignment. It is such a position that many senior officers keep away from. There are reports that Badi Ma’am dislikes a senior officer, but he may be the government’s first choice for this department. The officer is also interested in getting the post as an additional charge. There are stories that if any officer is not selected, the one interested in joining the department may be given its charge.  

Lobbying for rehabilitation

A senior bureaucrat who joined the state government with high hopes is in despair. And now, he is lobbying for post-retirement rehabilitation. A constitutional post, falling vacant in the coming days, is considered suitable for the officers retiring from senior positions. This is the reason why many of the retiring officers have set their eyes on the position that Sahib is lobbying for. He is even ready to quit his present job to hit the bull’s-eye. Sahib is making efforts through a few politicians and through a batchmate to achieve the target. There are reports that a woman officer has also laid her eyes on this post. Sahib’s problem is that the Central Government is angry with him for some reasons, but, in the present situation, the state government cannot even think of acting against the Central Government’s intentions. This may come in Sahib's way of getting the position he yearns for.

Important trip

The trip of an MP-cadre IAS officer – posted to Delhi on deputation – to the state amid the Lok Sabha election has hogged the limelight of everyone in the corridors of power. Official as the tour was, the officer plumbed the depths of the condition that the state was in, and took feedback on it. A few officers wanted to know from him when he would take over as the head of the state bureaucracy. There are reports that he heard everyone with a smiling face.  Those who met him felt that he intended to return to the state, and take up the baton for the state bureaucracy. When the BJP formed a government after the election, a powerful leader of the ruling party had some misgivings about this officer. But now, an officer close to the politician is trying to dispel doubts about him – though a few people not associated with the government – are averse to seeing him return to the state. Now, who carries more weight will be clear after the election.

On the verge of creating a record!

A 1970-batch IAS officer had the record of staying in a department for seven years. He worked for the Commercial Tax Department. After the Lok Sabha election, if a principal secretary (PS) is not shifted from the department where she is working, she may achieve this record. Madam is about to complete six years in the department. By the time the Election Commission lifts the Model Code of Conduct and the government’s functioning returns to normal, Madam will have completed six years in the department. Therefore, she will become an officer working for a department for a long period during the 20 years of BJP’s rule. An additional chief secretary (ACS) had worked in a department for a long time during the tenure of the present government. The PS is, however, against creating a record, and wants to get out of this place. The PS has already requested the Chief Secretary to send her to another department, for, she has spent many years at one place. A decision on whether the government accedes to PS’s request or she sets a record of staying in a department for a longer period than her colleagues, will be taken only after the Lok Sabha election when the government carries out administrative reshuffle.

Real boss

A powerful broker, through whom an IAS officer got himself transferred to a department, has become the wing’s real boss. As this man knows the ins and outs of this department, the officer seems to have yielded all powers to the agent to run it. The agent also arranged for a meeting between Sahib and a few others concerned with the department. The broker is telling his confidantes that all work will be done only through him. The officer has totally surrendered himself to this man. The minister of the department, who is occupied with the Lok Sabha election and knows its nuts and bolts, is getting feedback on the goings-on there. Ergo, the department is all set to see a rumpus over who runs it – the minister, or the officer, or the agent?

Biz for brass

An IAS officer, recently posted to a department, is busy collecting candies in advance. Sahib, who is in close contact with his agents, takes sweeteners from those who come to him for some work through the brokers. The officer is also setting up a system of collecting backhanders through one or two officers of the department. He not only assures those that visit him of doing their work, but also fixes the rates for his agents. He tells the visitors that he will remain in the department for a long time, so he will fulfil the commitments. There are murmurs in the corridors of power that Sahib has made a huge amount of dough through offstage deals. His biz of taking brass in advance for any work may continue until the Model Code of Conduct is in force.

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