The Punjab government Saturday said that Suresh Kumar, the chief principal secretary to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had not resigned from his post, the clarification coming three days after the senior official vacated his office fuelling speculation that he was quitting.
“Reports appearing in certain sections of the media regarding the tendering of resignation by Suresh Kumar, Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister are not correct. There has been no tendering of resignation, so the question of its acceptance does not arise,” the state government said on its official Twitter handle.
The tweet came soon after Amarinder Singh held a meeting with Kumar Saturday evening. Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda and principal secretary to CM Tejveer Singh were also a part of the meeting, it was learnt. The meeting took place at a private place and was totally kept under wraps.
Kumar had Wednesday cleared his office of all files and documents. Sources close to him claimed that he was upset at the state’s legal department not arguing against the long adjournment in a case against him being heard in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
There were rumours claiming that Kumar had tendered his resignation and was waiting for the CM to return from Delhi and accept it. Some media reports alleged that the senior officer had exited from WhatsApp group of Punjab officers with a “goodbye” message fuelling speculation that his resignation had been accepted.
Later in the evening the government issued a statement saying that the reports of Kumar’s resignation were totally baseless. “Refuting the media reports, an official spokesman clarified that Suresh Kumar had not offered his resignation at all, So there is no question of accepting the same,” the statement said.
Kumar was not available for comments. He had not attended the office since Wednesday but, sources said, he had been working from home and handling the issues of the state.
Kumar had resigned twice earlier in past two years. He had resigned when his appointment as CPS to CM was challenged in the court in August 2017. Amarinder had then prevailed upon him to continue. Later, again when his appointment was set aside by a single bench of HC, he had resigned. But the CM had directed the AG to challenge the single bench decision before a division bench. Since then the issue is in the HC and seen several adjournments.
A 1983-batch IAS officer, Kumar was handpicked by Amamrinder after coming to power in 2017. Kumar had retired in 2016 from the post of Additional Chief Secretary.
Kumar has been instrumental in framing Congress-led government’s flagship programmes like farm debt waiver, ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar Yojana’ and ‘Sarb Sehat Bima Yojana’. He had served at many positions in the state as well as at the Centre on deputation. He had also served as principal secretary to the chief minister during Amarinder’s previous tenure of 2002-2007.