Lucknow: The recently held panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh were not only a litmus test for the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) alone but for the bureaucracy also. Depending upon their compatibility with the political bosses, the successful were the ones who remained on their position while those failed had to go.
With assembly polls in UP just five months to go, the mega exercise of reshuffling in the bureaucracy has begun. However, officially the transfer season in UP this year was said to be a low-key affair due to pandemic yet the coming polls has made it big. As per orders of Chief Minister, the transfers were to be completed by July 15 this year and only necessary ones were to be made. However, despite these orders, the transfers continued till the end of July and in a few departments, it is still going on.
Soon after the panchayat elections were over in the state the rejig began and is continuing till now. While the new Director General of Police (DGP) was appointed due to the retirement of the previous one, the police chiefs in over two dozen districts have been changed so far. Similar has been the case of district magistrates also. Besides the heads of various departments too have been rolled in the last one month. The prominent among them are the excise commissioner, principal secretary basic education, managing director power generation corporation, secretary industrial development and many others. The district magistrates of over two dozen districts have been changed in July only and so is the case of district police chiefs.
According to a senior officer of UP, there would be major changes in the coming days as the elections commission might order revision of electoral list in October and during this exercise, no transfers can be made. He said that the government may give a final shape to the bureaucracy in districts soon before elections and hence one should expect another round of bulk transfers in January next. It may be mentioned that assembly polls in UP will be held in February next year and model code of conduct could be implemented anytime in January.
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