Riyaz Ul Khaliq
Cabinet which met here under chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed finally decided to make B R Sharma as the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. He superseded three of his senior –Arun Kumar, Sonali Kumar and Khursheed A Ganai – all FCs.
J&K government was running without the top bureaucrat ever since Mohammad Iqbal Khanday went home after deciding to go for voluntary retirement. Khanday was set to retire in November later this year. But availed VRS in anticipation if his superannuation over the issue of irreconcilable differences.
An IAS officer from 1984 batch, B R Sharma is 27.4.1960 born and will have service up to 2020, the longest among the senior most officers in J&K cadre.
Sharma has done Master degree in Political Science and Business besides a degree in law.
Sharma was posted as commissioner Planning and Development Department before his new posting. For being elevated to this position, Sharma was given Chief Secretary Pay Grade (equivalent to FC).
Soon after the cabinet meeting concluded and the decision was made public, officers were seen bee-lining Sharma’s office. None of Sharma’s three seniors were around.
Of the Kumar couple, one is heading a tribunal and other is FC (revenue). Both are posted outside the civil secretariat. Mrs Kumar is retiring within two months and Kumar has still one year and two months to go. They are otherwise outside the Chief Secretary’s administrative control.
However, the change makes situation pretty interesting for Khursheed A Ganai, an FC currently holding the charge of the industries department. He was not in the civil secretariat today. When contacted he refused to the change saying he is waiting for formal orders being issued.
Sources closer to Ganai, however, said the top officer may not like to be under administrative control of his junior. However, there is possibility of him staying in the government till his superannuation if he gets a position that suits his status and keeps him away from Sharma’s leadership.
Sources in the government said that the cabinet only elevated Sharma and did not touch any other officer, senior or junior. “Status Quo was maintained on the positions of three other senior most officers while a formal order is being issued in an hour or so,” a source said.