Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday defended the appointment of Vini Mahajan as the state’s new chief secretary, saying it is to ensure continuity and she can continue till his government’s term ends in 2022.
“I had nobody other than Mahajan who could carry on till 2022. It was continuity,” he said in reply to a question. She is also “one of the most able” officers, the chief minister added.
He also said there was nothing wrong in having a husband and wife, working together as state’s police chief and chief secretary respectively. Mahajan’s husband Dinkar Gupta is currently the state’s Punjab’s director general of police.
Citing an instance of a couple posted at top positions, he said when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister, Sarla Grewal was his principal secretary and her husband SS Grewal was the Cabinet secretary.Capt Amarinder Singh, Vini Mahajan, new chief secretary, PUnjab news, indian express news
“Why cannot you have one DGP and one CS here? I do not find anything wrong in it,” he said.
On a query that Gupta is now empanelled to hold director general-level posts in the central government, Amarinder said, “I will not let him go”.
He also dismissed criticism over Mahajan’s appointment by superseding five senior IAS officers and said all these five officers were retiring before the term of his government would end in 2022.
Former Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira had questioned Mahajan’s appointment as CS, saying five IAS officers were superseded in this appointment against the “laid down norms”.
(With PTI inputs)
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