With the Haryana Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora retiring in the next few days, there will be administrative changes in the state.
Besides, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister RK Khullar, a 1988 batch IAS officer whose tenure will complete next month, has been appointed as Executive Director in the World Bank for three years.
A string of senior IAS officers is in the fray for both the posts. These posts are prominent in the administrative structure of any government.
The Chief Secretary is the administrative head of the state government and acts as a secretary to the state cabinet.
While the duties of the Principal Secretary to CM include not only advising the CM but also performing many important roles. Thus, officials performing on these posts are required to be efficient and familiar with high-level administrative work.
Amid the ongoing speculation, it is evident that the close ones are likely to be appointed on these posts. Vijay Vardhan, Home Secretary and ACS, disaster management and a 1985 batch IAS emerged as the strongest claimant for the post of the Chief Secretary.
Among other claimants are a 1986 batch IAS Sanjeev Kaushal, and 1987 batch IAS Rajeev Arora. V Umashankar, a 1993 batch IAS and additional Principal Secretary to CM is reported to be very close to the CM Manohar Lal Khattar.
One common thing between all these officials is that they are in good books of the CM which makes them the strong claimants for the above posts. It is learnt that the caste factor is also likely to play a crucial role for the above appointments.
The Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora and RK Khullar both come from the Punjabi community. The Chief Minister also belongs to the same community. The sources say that officials belonging to Punjabi community are the strong claimants for the posts in comparison to the others.
Though the opposition continues to take on the ruling party saying that the officials from a particular community are given priority for top posts, it cannot be denied that these officials have enough experience of holding positions in various departments.