Perils of criticism
Former Supreme Court Justice A.K. Ganguly’s troubles may have come as a boon to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party. As chief of the State Human Rights Commission, Justice Ganguly was a powerful critic of the State administration and, therefore, eyed with distrust in the Mamata camp. Obviously there is pressure on Ganguly to resign following emergence of allegations of sexual harassment against him, even if ostensibly the Trinamool Congress is studiously avoiding any comment.
It’s a different story in the case of the Siliguri police commissioner K. Jayaraman who made waves by arresting IAS officer and Malda district magistrate Godala Kiran Kumar in a case of misappropriation. For his efforts the cop incurred the wrath of Ms Banerjee for “exceeding his brief” and was shunted out within hours! Last heard, the ‘victimised’ cop was insisting that he had done the right thing. But Mamata and her partymen obviously disagree!
A hot contest
Hectic lobbying is underway at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the position of Special Secretary for Internal Security. Sources say that many senior IAS and IPS officers are vying for the coveted post, which fell vacant last month when S. Jayaraman, a 1977-batch IPS officer, retired from service. The reason for the current scramble among the hopefuls is that the official in this position plays a crucial coordinating role with the various intelligence and investigative agencies such as Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) etc. Many consider it the second-most important position in the country’s intelligence and security setup. The current buzz is that Jayanta Narayan Choudhury, a sterling 1978 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from Assam is among the leading contenders. Sources say that the Government hopes to name Jayaraman’s successor sooner than later. Keep watching this space for updates.
Playing it safe
One fallout of the ongoing Telangana imbroglio is that the bureaucracy in Andhra Pradesh has gone into a go-slow mode, evidently unsure about what will happen to the State and how long Chief Minister Kiran Reddy will last on his gaddi. The prevailing mood is to hunker down and wait until the scene clears. Sources say that many important files cleared by the Chief Minister’s office (CMO) are being returned back by babus rather than being auctioned. Apparently, matters worsened so much that Chief Secretary Prasanna Kumar Mohanty, recently shot off an urgent note to all special chief secretaries, principal secretaries and other senior officials to implement the orders emanating from the Chief Minister’s office. But sources say that despite Mohanty’s admonishment babus are wary of taking any decision that could come back to haunt them months or even years later.