CHANDIGARH: For the first time in Punjab, a retired bureaucrat has been appointed as the chief principal secretary to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. Also, in a first, the state has five women deputy commissioners.
Suresh Kumar, a 1983 batch Punjab cadre IAS officer, who retired last year as additional chief secretary, served as principal secretary to Capt Amarinder Singh when he was the chief minister from 2002 to 2007. Kumar, who is close to Singh, will be in the same rank as a cabinet secretary in the Union government.
His appointment has already been approved by Singh and will now be placed before the cabinet on Saturday in the first meeting of the new cabinet for approval. Kumar had headed important departments such as irrigation, power and development during his long administrative career.
It can be recalled that in a similar instance, Mayawati had appointed Shashank Shekhar Singh, a pilot, as cabinet secretary when she was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2007 to 2012.
Punjab government has already appointed Tejveer Singh, a 1994 IAS officer, as the principal secretary to the CM. After he assumed charge as chief minister, Singh transferred 32 IAS officers. As a result of the reshuffle, the state now has five women officers posted as deputy commissioners. Gurpreet Kaur Sapra has been posted as DC of SAS Nagar, Sonali Giri in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Gurneet Tej in Ropar, Kanwalpreet Brar in Fatehgarh Sahib and Neelima in Pathankot.
Two women police officers have also been posted as senior superintendent of police — Alka Meena in Fatehgarh Sahib and Jagadale Nilambari Vijay in Ropar. Thus two districts, Ropar and Fategarh Sahib, have women as both DC and SSP. BK Uppal, a 1991 batch IPS officer, has been posted as chief director of Punjab Vigilance Bureau.