Thursday, July 26, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


H I M A C H A L   P R A D E S H

2 contenders for Chief Secy’s post
Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 25
With the departure of Mr A.K. Goswami from the post of Chief Secretary having been fixed, the tie for the topmost slot in the bureaucracy of Himachal Pradesh now is, between Mr Harsh Gupta and Kanwar Shamsher Singh.

Mr Goswami is schedule to leave for Delhi in the end of the month for taking up his new assignment as the Director-General of the National Productivity Council. He will be given a ceremonial farewell dinner by the IAS officers on July 28. The issue of choice of the new Chief Secretary continued to be the topic of discussion in almost all rooms of the Secretariat throughout the day today.

Appointment of the new Chief Secretary has become a ticklish issue for the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, who has held a series of meetings with his trusted officers. Political pressure was also being mounted on Mr Dhumal by various lobbies which were backing the two aspirants.

While Mr Gupta is the next senior-most IAS officer of 1966 batch after Mr Goswami and is ‘Additional Chief Secretary and also chairman of the HPSEB. Kanwar Shamsher Singh, Financial Commissioner, stands at number five in the list and belongs to the 1968 batch.



Mrs Rajendera Bhattacharaya (1967 batch) and Mr Arvind Kaur (1968 batch) are seniormost among Mr Gupta and Kanwar Shamsher Singh. However, there were indications that none of these two officers were being considered for the post.

Mr Dhumal, however, made it clear today that none of the officers will be superseded and they will be suitably adjusted.

Importance is being attached to the statement of Mr Dhumal that seniority and continuity will be kept in mind while appointing the new Chief Secretary.

As far as continuity was concerned, Kanwar Shamsher Singh has three years to go in service and would retire in 2004, whereas Mr Gupta was scheduled to retire in October 2001. However, things might go in favour of Mr Gupta in case the choice was made on the basis of seniority.

It is learnt that Kanwar Shamsher Singh was also being backed because of his Himachal background. He was earlier considered to be a confident of Mr Vibhadra Singh during the Congress regime and fell from grace during the BJP regime when he was given some insignificant posts. However, during the past few months some important assignments were given to him by Mr Dhumal.


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