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Shadows of power

The State of Haryana holds a very crucial position for the Congress—not for political reasons but for economic ones. The interesting part is that the hugely powerful builder lobby desires the continuation of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda but the political game is turning the other way. As per political developments, it appears the State is completely going out of the clutches of Hooda. This has been noticed by the State bureaucracy as well. Except the loyalist group of officers, others have turned neutral and refuse to comment on the goings-on. The writing is on the wall but it’s not very clear which party and leader will form the government. The impact of the unsettled atmosphere is seen in the bureaucracy as well. Chief Secretary SC Chaudhary retired and the Haryana government was on the lookout for a new incumbent. The surprising part is that most of the competent officers eligible for the post did not show any interest. Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Civil Aviation, Sanjay Kothari, Secretary, Dept of Personnel and Training, Ajit M Sharan, Secretary, Sports and Youth, Madhusudan Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Anuradha Gupta, and others of the 1978 to 1981 batch all seemed to be hesitant. The Hooda camp was perplexed at the situation and did not know what to do. Suddenly, Shakuntla Jakhu, a 1978-batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, was announced as the new Chief Secretary of the State in a hurriedly called Cabinet meeting.

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