M A I N   N E W S

Sinha shifted, Dubey to be new Home Secretary
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today removed Mr S.K. Sinha, Principal Secretary, from the coveted Home Department and replaced him with Mr A.K. Dubey, who was holding the charge as Financial Commissioner (Cooperation). Mr Sinha has been posted in place of Mr Dubey. The order in this connection was issued late this evening, it is learnt.

What is the immediate reason for the removal of Mr Sinha from the Home Department is not clear yet. Several reasons are being given for the transfer. Sources said that a few days ago, the Chief Minister had rang up Mr Sinha on the phone from Amritsar but he was not available. The Chief Minister did not like it and took the decision to transfer him then and there.

Mr Sinha has been one of the most known loyalist officers of the Capt Amarinder Singh regime. In fact, he had been maintaining a close rapport with Capt Amarinder Singh for the past two decades. Mr Sinha spent large part of his service at Patiala, first as Deputy Commissioner and then as Commissioner, which is the home town of Capt Amarinder Singh.

When Capt Amarinder Singh, took over as Chief Minister in February, 2002, he made Mr Sinha, his Principal Secretary and also gave him the most important Home Department and Vigilance Bureau. In fact, it was first time that the charge of Vigilance Bureau was withdrawn from the then Chief Secretary and hand over to Mr Sinha. He was one of the most powerful Principal Secretaries as he enjoyed the full trust of the Chief Minister.

However, after some months, as the Vigilance Bureau became pro-active in its drive against "politicians" including some of those belonging to the front line of the ruling party, a political storm started building up in the ruling party against Mr Sinha. The demand to transfer him out from the Chief Minister's office and also from Home and Vigilance Bureau became one of the most talked about political issues in the state.

However, the Chief Minister stood with Mr Sinha and faced the political storm with all his might. However, the storm turned into a big dissident activity that ultimately forced the Chief Minister to remove Mr Sinha as his Principal Secretary. Later, even the Vigilance Department was taken from Mr Sinha and handed back to the Chief Secretary.

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