The Yogi Adityanath government, which is inching closer towards completing 100 days in power, is likely to replace Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar, the only top officer from the previous SP regime continuing after the new Cabinet took charge, said sources. Bhatnagar, a 1983 batch IAS officer, was appointed chief secretary during the last phase of the previous Akhilesh Yadav government.
Sources in the government said that 1981 batch IAS officer Rajiv Kumar, who is at present secretary to the Union ministry of road, transport and highways, is the front runner for the post of chief secretary. Kumar had also served on different positions in the Union ministries of petroleum and natural gas, finance and shipping, and in the central Cabinet secretariat.
In Uttar Pradesh, Kumar has previously served as the divisional commissioner of Saharanpur, Meerut as well as in the industrial development department. A senior officer in the government said he is likely to return from deputation soon.
In the recent past, at least seven senior officers, who were on central deputation, have joined posts in Uttar Pradesh. They include 1989 batch officer Sanjay Bhoosreddy, who is yet to get a posting in the government, 1988 batch IAS Alok Kumar, who has been made principal secretary in the power department, 1989 batch IAS Prashant Trivedi, posted as principal secretary for medical, health and family welfare, 1989 batch officer Shashi Prakash Goel, who has been made principal secretary to the chief minister, looking after civil aviation as well as estate department, and 1992 batch IAS officer Anurag Srivastava, who is yet to join in Lucknow.
Earlier, 1987 batch Avanish Awasthi had taken charge as principal Secretary for information, tourism and religious affairs as well as chief executive officer of the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Development Authority. The chief minister’s office (CMO) has already got a lot of new officers and the DGP was changed a month ago.