Congress suspects ‘quid pro quo’ in Somesh Kumar’s appointment as Chief Secretary

HYDERABAD, SEP 4 (UNI):- Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt Uttam Kumar Reddy, addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderbaad on Tuesday. UNI PHOTO-24U

Hyderabad, Jan 3 (INN): All India Congress Committee (AICC) National Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan has alleged that the appointment of IAS officer Somesh Kumar as Chief Secretary of Government of Telangana was irregular and done in total violation of rules. He expressed suspicion that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar might have elevated Somesh Kumar to the top post due to ‘quid pro quo’ arrangement.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Friday, Sravan said that Somesh Kumar, a 1989 batch officer, was made the Chief Secretary by superseding 15 others senior IAS officers. They include BP Acharya (of 1983 Batch); Ajay Mishra (1984) ; Suresh Chanda, Chitra Ramachandran, Pushpa Subramanyam and Hiralal Samariya (now with GoI) of 1985 Batch; Rajeshwar Tewari (1986); RR Mishra and Vasudha Mishra (GoI) of 1987; Aadhar Sinha, Shalini Mishra and Sri Lakshmi (1988); Rani Kumudini (GoI) of 1988 and Shanti Kumari (1989).

Sravan said all set precedents, norms and rules pertaining to promotion of IAS officials have been violated. He suspected the appointment to be ‘quid pro quo’ as Somesh Kumar, as the then Commissioner of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has allegedly helped TRS win municipal elections in February 2016. There were allegations of deletion of more than 15 lakh voters, inclusion of fake voters, reorganisation and reservation of wards in a partisan manner and other irregularities. He said that the Congress party had lodged a strong protest against the discrepancies and irregularities committed while Somesh Kumar was heading the GHMC as its Commissioner. However, he said electoral processes were manipulated to ensure victory of TRS party in GHMC elections. The appointment of Somesh Kumar as Chief Secretary indicates that those allegations might be true.

The AICC Spokesperson said CM KCR appointed Somesh Kumar on the top post despite the fact that he belongs to Andhra cadre. He said it was unfair on the part of KCR to neglect Telangana cadre officials to favour an Andhra cadre IAS officer. He said the move would demoralise all other officials and they would find it difficult to work under their junior. He alleged that KCR was completely neglecting the Telangana cadre officers and they were not being appointed on key posts. As per the Andhra Pradesh Reorgansisation Act, Somesh Kumar should have been sent to residuary State. However, he secured a stay from Central Administration Tribunal and continued his services in Telangana.

He said Chief Minister had contended that Somesh Kumar’s would bring stability in governance as he will be in service till December 31, 2023. He asked as to how KCR could assign the post of State’s Chief Secretary to an official who is serving on the basis of CAT stay. Will it not cause instability if the CAT vacates the stay? he asked.

Sravan said that KCR has the prerogative to appoint anyone on political posts. However, he said that the Chief Minister should not politicise the Executive by mending rules to favour certain IAS/IPS officials.

He also alleged that the Chief Minister’s Office has turned out to be an asylum for ‘Retired AIS officers’. As many as eight retired IAS, IPS officials are serving as Advisors to Telangana Government. While former Chief Secretary Dr. Rajiv Sharma is the Chief Advisor, seven other officials have been appointed as Advisors immediately after their retirement. They include G.R. Reddy, Bhupal Reddy, Narsing Rao, A.K. Khan, Anurag Sharma and now the latest Dr. S.K. Joshi. KCR is giving a silent message that he could benefit his favoured officers even after their retirement by appointing them as Advisors to State Government if they listen to his dictates during service.

AICC Tribal Department Vice Chairman Bellaiah Nayak, TPCC General Secretary Kailash and TPCC Spokesperson Satyam Srirangam were also present in the press conference.

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