With Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi scheduled to retire by the month end, the latest buzz doing the rounds in the power corridors of the State Secretariat is, who would be his successor?
Going by the rule book, officers in the ranks of Additional Chief Secretaries should be considered, which also includes Apurva Varma, but there has been a precedence in the past where officers in the ranks of Principal Secretaries were also posted as Home Secretary upon the advice of Chief Ministers. During Jayalalithaa’s tenure, senior bureaucrats R Rajagopal and Apurva Varma have served as Home Secretaries overtaking department seniors. Among officers in the ranks of Principal Secretaries – the profiles of Sai Kumar, Pradeep Yadav, and Gagandeep Singh Bedi are also being scanned for the job and the final decision is expected any time. With the civic polls expected and the general Assembly polls scheduled for 2021, the new Home Secretary will have a lot of political homework, say sources.
“If an officer in the rank of Additional Chief Secretary is posted it would be easy to handle the state police administration and directly report to the office of the Chief Minister. The Home Secretary will also administer the portfolios represented by the CM including central excise and prohibition,” a senior official said.