A few months after Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu handpicked senior IAS officer Satish Chandra to head his department, the bureaucrat was transferred to head the department of power on Tuesday. Sidhu, it is learnt, was upset with the bureaucrat for “not toeing his line.”
Chandra has now been appointed as additional chief secretary (power) replacing A Venu Prasad, who has in turn been appointed as principal secretary, local bodies. Chandra’s transfer came a few hours after Sidhu was stated to be upset with him for not having pushed the agenda of levying entertainment tax on local cable network in Monday’s cabinet meeting. The agenda was included at the last minute.
Earlier, Sidhu wanted chief engineers of local bodies chargesheeted for allotting tenders on a single bid. While Chandra cited technical reasons, Sidhu wanted the chargeseheet immediately, which led to problems between the two, sources said. Interestingly, Sidhu had asked for Chandra soon after taking over and prevailed upon Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Chandra was then additional chief secretary, Taxation. A 1985-batch officer, Chandra is considered an able official and enjoys a clean image.