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In a first for Khattar govt, hunt starts for new home secretary

In a first for Khattar govt, hunt starts for new home secretary
Incumbent And Predecessor Were Both Brought In After Violence In State
Manvir.Saini@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

Haryana government has started the search for its new home secretary as the incumbent Shyam Sundar Prasad attains superannuation on July 31. Six top senior bureaucrats are said to be in reckoning for the post.


Since the assembly elections are also round the corner, the government is looking for an officer who has a clean record and can handle the polls smoothly. Prasad had replaced the then additional chief secretary (home) Ram Niwas following the violence by Dera Sacha Sauda followers in August 2017 after the sect head was convicted of rape. Prasad was posted in the first week of September 2017.

According to the seniority list, additional chief secretaries Sunil Kumar Gulati and P Raghavendera Rao are the frontrunners. Rao is on central deputation since March 2018 and is unlikely to return.

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar also holds the charge of the home department and the officer is likely to be the pick of the CMO.

Sources informed that the CMO might even ignore the seniority to appoint the home secretary of his choice.

The officers whose names have been doing the rounds include ACS (tourism) Vijay Vardhan, a 1985-batch IAS officer, ACS (excise and taxation) Sanjeev Kaushal (1986-batch), Dheera Khandelwal (1986-batch), Jyoti Arora, Devender Singh and T C Gupta (all 1987-batch) and and T V S N Prasad (1988-batch).

“This is an administrative exercise and the government does not require any search committee for this. Hence, government will have an officer as and when necessary,” a senior officer in the CMO said.

Prior to Prasad, both home secretaries had been shifted out following major incidents of law and order situation.

Ram Niwas was shifted out after the violence by the dera followers and police action which claimed 44 lives.

He had taken over P K Das who was shifted out after the violence and police action during the Jat agitation for reservation in February 2016.

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