Senior bureaucrat Ashish Kumar Singh Friday assumed charge as Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
As per an order issued by Thackeray-led General Administration Department (GAD) Singh, a 1988-batch IAS officer, who is also the head of the transport department, will hold the charge in additional capacity till further orders. Sources in the state secretariat, however, have not ruled out that the transfer might be permanent.
The order comes at a time when Bhushan Gagrani (1990 batch), previously appointed as Principal Secretary to Thackeray, is away on a two-week vacation. Gagrani has applied for leave till February 24.
While the department hasn’t issued an order to relieve Gagrani from the post, it is likely that he might be transferred to another post on return, official sources said.
Gagrani had earlier served as secretary to former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Singh, on the other hand, has previously served in the CMO as principal secretary to former CM Prithviraj Chavan.
The department has also handed over two other portfolios — Industries and Cultural Affairs — that Gagrani was heading, to two other bureaucrats in additional capacity. Forest Secretary B Venugopal Reddy (1994 batch) will hold the charge of Industries secretary in Gagrani’s absence, while Medical Education Secretary Sanjay Mukherjee (1996 batch) will be in-charge of Cultural Affairs.
On Friday, Thackeray also appointed R B Bhosale (2008) as the Additional Divisional Commissioner (Pune), while A K Dongre (2007 batch) was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Shirdi-based Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust. Abhijeet Bangar (2008 batch) was posted as the new Textile Director, GM Bodke (2010) as Director, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (Kalyan), and Dr Leena Bansod was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Nashik Zilla Parishad.
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