Updated on: Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 11:14 PM IST

Maharashtra: Sitaram Kunte retires, Debashish Chakravarty takes additional charge of Chief Secretary


Amidst the ongoing tug of war between the BJP ruling dispensation at the Centre and the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, the Centre has rejected the six-month extension sought by the State government for Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte. With that the 1985 IAS batch officer has duly retired on Tuesday.

The additional chief secretary (planning), Debashish Chakravarty, (1986 batch) has taken over from Kunte as additional charge till a new appointment is made. Chakravarty, who has worked as the Principal Secretary Housing, Managing Director of Shivshahi Punarvasan Project Ltd, Principal Secretary in General Administration Department, Vice President and CEO of Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority, retires in February 2022.

Minutes after Kunte handed over the charge to Chakravarty, he was appointed as the Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray following the latter’s directive. The directive says Kunte has been chosen in view of his wide administrative experience.

Earlier, former chief secretary Ajoy Mehta, after his retirement, had functioned as the CM’s Principal Advisor till he was appointed as the Chairman of Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority.As reported by the Free Press Journal, the state government, in its recent communication to the Department of Personnel and Training, had proposed six months' extension for Kunte from December 1 to May 31 under the current norms and not under exceptional or extraordinary circumstances.The government’s move came ahead of the upcoming elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other civic and local bodies.

A senior MVA Minister told the Free Press Journal, ''The Centre has turned down the state government’s proposal. This is clearly the result of the ongoing tussle between the Centre and the state government. Chakravarty has been given additional charge. The Centre is also yet to clear the full-fledged appointment of state director general of police, as Sanjay Pandey is currently an acting DGP.’’

The Shiv Sena minister said the Chief Minister, who is recovering from a major spinal surgery, in consultation with allies NCP and the Congress, will decide on Chakravarty’s regular appointment as CS, or select somebody else from his batch. The possible pick could be from among Manukumar Srivastav and Jayashree Mukherjee (1986 batch) or Manoj Saunik, Sujata Saunik, Ashwani Kumar (1987 batch).


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Published on: Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 06:11 PM IST