Who will be the new Chief Secretary of Haryana? Shakuntala Jakhu, the present Chief Secretary, will retire on November 30. It is likely to be a tough decision for newly elected Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar as he has a limited choice. There are officers who can fill the post but they are currently Secretaries in different departments of the government. Sanjay Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer, is working as Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training. Ajit M Sharan is a 1978-batch officer working as Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs. Ashok Lavasa, a 1980-batch IAS officer, is working as a Secretary in Environment while Anuradha Gupta, a 1981-batch officer, is on an international deputation.
These officers are not available to join the state. Khattar has to choose from four officers—Praveen Kumar Gupta, a 1981-batch IAS officer, DS Dhesi, Dr. Dalip Singh and KK Jalan, all 1982-batch IAS officers. Dhesi is a competent officer and he will go a long way as he is retiring in 2019, but he wishes to remain in the Central government. Dr. Dalip Singh, Additional Secretary for Agriculture in the Central government may move to Haryana if he is suitably posted. Additionally, as Bhupinder Singh Hooda ruled the state for 10 years, many officers bear allegiance to the old regime and were involved in issuing a clean chit to Robert Vadra, husband of Priyanka Gandhi. It’s to be seen whether Khattar will be able to keep Hooda’s loyal officers in check.