RAIPUR: In an apparent setback to the senior IAS officers who are in race for the chief secretary (CS) post, the Chhattisgarh government has sent a proposal to the Centre seeking extension of the present CS by another six months, a highly placed source in the state secretariat said.
A background note in the form of a proposal was prepared by the state in support of the present chief secretary Sunil Kujur, a 1986-batch IAS officer, it was told.
Kujur is the first Chhattisgarh chief secretary from scheduled tribe community, who replaced Ajay Singh (1983-batch IAS) in January 2019 after the formation of Congress government.
Kujur, who seems to have emerged as the preferred choice for the state government, will retire in October this year. And if the Centre agrees to it, Kujur will continue as CS till April 2020.
If the chief minister Bhupesh Baghel goes by the seniority in service then after Ajay Singh, who was chief secretary for a month in the present regime and later transferred as Chairman Revenue Board, there remain two strong contenders for the post of chief secretary — C K Khaitan (1987-batch) and R P Mandal (1987-batch) who will be retiring in July 2021 and November 2020 respectively.
Though there are two IAS officers who are senior to Khaitan and Mandal, but they are less likely to get the state’s top bureaucratic post. N Baijendra Kumar (1985-batch) is on deputation as Chairman cum Managing Director in NMDC at Hyderabad and Dr Alok Shukla (1986-batch) is posted in the state secretariat without any department after his name figured in the PDS scam.