If YS Jaganmohan Reddy wanted the message to go out loud and clear to the IAS and IPS officers in Andhra Pradesh, the consensus is that he succeeded. The manner in which Chief Secretary LV Subramanyam was shunted to a nondescript post on Monday, was an indication that the chief minister would not brook any opposition to the manner in which he wanted to govern the state. And that no one else could throw the rule book at him, like the way Subramanyam had done by issuing a showcause notice to Praveen Prakash, Principal Secretary to the CM.
Through Monday, Amaravati was abuzz with the three mistakes of LV Subramanyam that ended in his transfer from A to B, as in Amaravati to Bapatla.
While taking on P2, as Praveen Prakash is referred to in bureaucratic circles, was the last straw, his caustic remark in the CM’s presence last Tuesday (read story link below) and his inability or refusal to issue Government Orders quickly, led to his dramatic ouster.
But is this development a positive for the governance structure? A senior officer said the IAS-IPS officers were divided in their opinion. A majority opinion is that this sets the wrong precedent because at the end of the day, LVS was “factually correct” while accusing Prakash of violation of business rules.
“It was Prakash’s duty to keep the Chief Secretary informed who as per business rules is the secretary of the cabinet committee,” said an officer.
The concern is that Jagan with his action, has shown scant regard for rules of business. He has allowed a junior officer to target a senior and get away with it. Unless it was a trap laid out for LVS into which the Chief Secretary walked. At the end of the day, this is hardly going to help the discipline in the civil service.
The counter argument to this is that it is the job of the officers led by the CS to implement the vision and wishes of the political leadership. And the CS will have to go if he is not in sync.
But what has surprised most is the vengeful manner in which LVS was treated. The Andhra Pradesh Human Resources Development Institute in Bapatla is a nondescript organisation. To add insult to injury, a second order was issued in Prakash’s name, terminating the services of retired and re-employed officers at the Institute with immediate effect. This would practically mean the HRD Institute is a building without staff.
Nilam Sawhney of the 1984 batch of the IAS is tipped to become the next chief Secretary. She is at this point in time posted at the Centre and it is believed that the CM having made up his mind to remove LVS, had made the phone calls to Delhi through the weekend. Sawhney met Jagan in Amaravati on Monday.