THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An unexpected change in the state’s bureaucratic circle - Additional Chief Secretary V Somasundaran opting for Central deputation as Secretary, Civil Aviation - has given rise to a fresh debate. Speculation is rife as to who will replace him as Finance Secretary and what prompted him to move out of the state at such a crucial juncture.
Being the second senior-most officer in the IAS cadre currently serving in the state, Somasundaran was next in line to become Chief Secretary. “Current Chief Secretary E K Bharat Bhushan and Somasundaran are from the 1979 batch. The current CS is set to retire in January 2015. And, Somasundaran, who will retire only in May, 2016, would have succeeded him. So what prompted him to leave now is a mystery,’’ sources opined.
Regarding his replacement, sources say, another senior official who is currently on Central deputation is all set to return to the state. Senior Kerala Cadre IAS officer Jiji Thomson, who is currently the Director General of Sports Authority of India, is one probable name doing the rounds. In the event of Jiji Thomson returning to the state, he could be the next Chief Secretary.