A childhood friendship has come in the way of Vadodara rural SP Usha Rada and one of her cases involving builder brothers – Brijesh and Jaivijaysinh Chauhan. Rada,who was investigating the case since PASA was invoked against the duo on May 17 in connection with a high-profile land grabbing case involving crores of rupees,recently offered to quit the probe on the ground that she and the sister of the accused,Rita Chauhan,were good friends since school days,having known each other when they studied in Class VIII at Porbandars Gurukul. School friendship grew over time and Rada would stay at her friends in-law house in Vadodara on her visits here in the past. Rada said she had offered to be shifted so as to avoid any controversy affecting investigation,though she maintained she did not know her friends brothers who are the accused in the case or their father,a retired police inspector. The investigation is now with Dabhoi SP R D Patel.
Frozen post-retirement appointments
If grapevine in the secretariat is to be believed additional chief secretary to CM K Kaliashnathan might not get any post-retirement job end of this month when he superannuates. Apparently,just as Modi did away with allotment of chairmanship of various boards to RSS and BJP office-bearers,he has also frozen post-retirement appointments for babus. The list of officers retired since last December and who could have easily landed in post-retirement assignment is getting longer,many of them Modis favourites,but none have landed a post-retirement assignment yet. These include former land reforms commissioner V S Gadhvi and principal secretary urban department I P Gautam who top the list. Not to mention S Jagdeesan and Ravi Saxena,though they were not seen as being close to Modi. Going by the trend,Kailashnathan will have to wait for a while before his boss hands him a new assignment.
Who is next in the hot seat?
The retirement of additional Chief Secretary to CM K Kailashnathan by end of this month has sparked off race between Gujarati and non-Gujarati IAS officers to occupy the slot,considered to be the hot. Ever since name of a senior Gujarati officer,known to be quite close to CM Narendra Modi,has started doing rounds,the non-Gujarati lobby is showing signs of uneasiness. Given Modis apparent leanings for officers from Gujarat,the others feeling that no non-Gujarati may stand a chance this time around. Though,at present,all the three secretary level post in CMO,dont have a single officer of Gujarati origins.
All is not well for irrigation
Chief Minister Narendra Modi may have been publicly projecting that all is well in irrigation and agriculture front despite water scarcity. But he himself is not quite happy with the two departments off late. Last week he fired officials from both irrigation and agriculture departments. He reportedly gave strict instructions to speed up work of check dams and khet-talavdis (small ponds) before monsoon hits the state mid-June to hold and store water.