With elections expected in three-month time, the new chief secretary will have an uphill task in maintaining the cash starved administration in a poll bound state. The state and the Centre will select the new Chief Secretary after zeroing in on the prospects of senior IAS officers.
Hans Raj Verma, Vikram Kapur, TV Somanathan and Atulya Mishra are some of the senior officials eligible for the coveted post.
According to informed Secretariat sources, Shanmugam who has recently developed sense of friction with the Opposition DMK wants to opt out of the coveted post. He was given extension due to coronavirus induced lockdown phase and the Chief Secretary has got two extensions in the past. The state has more than a dozen qualified senior IAS officers in the ranks of additional chief secretaries, sources said.
“To his credit Shanmugam has handled the COVID-19 crisis in a better manner and his resignation was expected some time back,” a senior official said.
It may be noted that the DMK last year mooted a plea seeking action against Chief Secretary K Shanmugam in the Lok Sabha.
Shanmugam had denied that he had defamed any of the public representatives during a recent meeting with a delegation of DMK MPs. DMK MP and treasurer TR Baalu mooted the privilege proceedings against the top IAS officer.