Updated: September 16, 2021 12:21:27 am
Two days after Bhupendra Patel took oath as chief minister, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in Gandhinagar was overhauled with all the bureaucrats shunted out. Pankaj Joshi, an 1989-batch IAS officer, was appointed additional chief secretary to chief minister on Wednesday, replacing Manoj Das, while 2003 batch IAS officer Avantika Singh replaced Ashwani Kumar as secretary.
One former officer and one incumbent officer of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) where Patel was earlier a corporator and standing committee chairperson, were also inducted into the CMO as officers on special duty (OSDs).
Joshi who was heading the finance department is among the four officials transferred by a notification issued by the General Administration department of the state government. He replaces additional chief secretary Manoj Das who has been in the CMO during Vijay Rupani’s tenure as chief minister. Das who is additional chief secretary of Ports and transport department, has been holding the post in CMO since August 2017.
To assist Joshi, the government appointed Avantika Singh as the new secretary to chief minister, replacing Ashwani Kumar. Singh was holding the post of vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Gujarat Maritime Board. Ashwani Kumar was posted in the CMO since September 2016.
The government also appointed Dr MD Modia, the collector of Bharuch as OSD to chief minister. KN Shah who held this post has been transferred out. Modia who has been the collector of Bharuch since August 2019. Belonging to the tribal community, Modia has worked as an additional collector at Gandhinagar from 2012-13 and as deputy municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad from 2007-08. He was also the district collector of Mahisagar and Navsari.
Similarly, NN Dave, Deputy Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has been appointed as Officer on Special Duty to chief minister replacing DH Shah. Dave (56) was personal secretary to Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi for nearly five years, till he was posted to AMC on June 24, 2021. He has over 13 years of experience as personal secretary to various BJP leaders and ministers including former ministers Babubhai Bokhiria and Kiritsinh Rana.
In AMC, Dave was given the charge of South Zone, Kankaria Lakefront, Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden Kankaria, library and Bal Bhavan.
The government is yet to announce postings for officials who have been transferred out of the chief minister’s office on Wednesday.
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