There are indications that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray may create a special post in the chief minister’s office (CMO) to accommodate outgoing Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta after his tenure ends in March. According to sources, Mehta could find himself performing a role similar to the one that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trusted bureaucrat had played for years in the Gujarat government, serving as chief principal secretary to the chief minister.
Efforts are on to suitably rehabilitate Principal Secretary Bhushan Gagrani. While the 1990-batch IAS officer is unlikely to continue with the CMO, buzz is that Thackeray’s office wants to accommodate him suitably. Ashish Kumar Singh (1988 batch), who has held the additional charge as additional chief secretary to Thackeray since February 14, is expected to now get a full-time role in the CMO.
Change Of Guard
A chnage of guard is in the offing in the Mumbai unit of the Congress. Following Varsha Gaikwad’s induction as the school education minister in the Thackeray-led coalition, her father Eknath Gaikwad, who has discharged the role of Mumbai unit Congress president since September last year, might soon be replaced, sources said. Lobbying for the post has already begun, with names of Naseem Khan, Milind Deora, Sanjay Nirupam, Priya Dutt, Bhai Jagtap and Amarjit Manhas doing the rounds.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had the last word when it came to the appointment of Param Bir Singh as Mumbai’s new police commissioner. While the Sharad Pawar-led NCP controls the Home department, the arrangement between the allies is that the Shiv Sena will have a bigger say when it comes to key appointments in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. Lobbying has now started for the post of the state intelligence commissioner. Rashmi Shukla, the incumbent to the post, is on her way out.
Compiled by Sandeep Ashar
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