Piquant administrative situation in Jammu and Kashmir

June 3rd, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 3 (IANS) The last minute postponement of the scheduled swearing-in ceremony of B.R. Kundal as cabinet minister, who had applied for voluntary retirement as state chief secretary, has created a piquant administrative situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The question begging an answer is whether Kundal, an IAS officer of 1972 batch who became the first scheduled caste chief secretary of the state last year, can continue to function as the state’s chief secretary after having made his political loyalty public.

The chief minister’s secretariat has so far not announced the acceptance of his voluntary retirement.

All preparations for his induction into the state cabinet were in place Monday evening with even a room furnished for him in the civil secretariat here.

He was tipped to hold the prestigious power development portfolio as a Congress minister.

S.S. Kapoor, an IAS officer of 1974 batch, was tipped to be the next chief secretary.

What otherwise looked like a routine postponement of the swearing ceremony has now snowballed into a big controversy within the local Congress.

Sources within the party told IANS that some senior leaders of the party, especially those belonging to the Jammu region, had raised their voice against Kundal’s induction in the state cabinet maintaining that it would set a bad precedent for those party men who had toiled for years without getting a ministerial berth.

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