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Delhi Government Seeks Centre’s Approval To Replace Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar

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Naresh Kumar, a 1988 batch IAS officer, had a strained relationship with the AAP dispensation.

New Delhi:

The AAP government has sought the Centre’s approval to appoint 1989 batch IAS officer P K Gupta as the new chief secretary of Delhi, officials said on Thursday.

Gupta is currently serving as additional chief secretary at the General Administration Department (GAD) of the Delhi government. Present Chief Secretary of Delhi, Naresh Kumar is due to retire later this year, they said.

The proposal regarding appointment of Gupta was sent from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena for concurrence of the Centre.

The move comes days after the Delhi government was given executive power in services matters, including transfer and posting of officers, in an important verdict by the Supreme Court.

Gupta is the 1989 batch IAS officer of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre.

“Through the Delhi L-G, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested the approval of the Centre for appointment of P K Gupta as the new chief secretary. Gupta will replace Naresh Kumar if the Centre considers the request,” said an official.

In his previous stint, Gupta served as commissioner of erstwhile North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Officials said appointment of chief secretary of Delhi is made by the Centre because the state has no cadre of IAS officers of its own.

Kumar, a 1988 batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, had a strained relationship with the AAP dispensation. He was accused by the AAP of taking direct orders from the L-G by bypassing the elected government in Delhi.

The charges against Kumar by the AAP leaders included an alleged conspiracy to prevent the popular power subsidy scheme of the government.

“The ball is in the Centre’s court now as there are other 1988 batch IAS officers of AGMUT cadre, including Renu Sharma, Chetan Sanghi and Dharam Pal, who are senior to Gupta. Gupta may still be the next chief secretary of Delhi if the Centre obliges the request of the AAP government,” sources said.

Following the SC verdict, the AAP government had immediately transferred Services Secretary Ashish More. His transfer cleared by the Central Services Board (CSB) has been sent for the L-G’s nod.

After More, the government has proposed the appointment of Gupta as the chief secretary.

While the chief secretary chairs the CSB, services secretary is its member-secretary and the second-most senior IAS officer in the Delhi government is its other member.

The CSB clears transfers of IAS officers working under the Delhi government. Kejriwal had announced large scale transfers of officers besides warning action against those who allegedly “obstructed” government work for the people of Delhi.

Sources claimed the CSB headed by a new chief secretary will help smooth transfer of officers in coming days as there are apprehensions that incumbent Kumar could “delay” the process.

No immediate reaction was available from Kumar on the matter.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)