Anil Mukim might get the another extension; Mahapatra pursuing PMO
Pankaj Kumar, Rajiv Gupta, Arpana also in the fray
The race for Cabinet Secretary of the state—the pinnacle an IAS officer can aspire for—is already on with senior officers throwing their hats into the ring. It is important for Gujarat as along with seniority, administrative efficiency, political relations with the Chief Minister are important aspects but it also has its perks at the PMO and Home Ministry. Decisions for Gujarat are taken in Delhi more than in Gandhinagar. In the last few years, Gujarat cadre AS, IPS officers have shown their weight in the state but also their administrative interference has affected the state. The state Chief Secretary Anil Mukim was to retire in August 2020, but due to the Covid 19 outbreak, the 1985 batch IAS officer was asked to extend his tenure for additional 4 months, which now completes in February.
Now, with the announcement of corporation election this month and also the upcoming state budget, the appointment has taken a backseat. According to sources close to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, the government may again extend Mukim’s tenure by 3-6 months.
However, this will not be that easy as the powerful IAS officer of Gujarat cadre in Delhi Guruprasad Mahapatra can also return to Gujarat with the help of PMO, besides Pankaj Kumar, Rajeev Gupta are also in the race in terms of seniority, administrative efficiency, and political relationship with the Chief Minister. The women IAS officer S Arpana is also seen as one of the top contenders for the post on the basis of seniority. The discussion in Gandhinagar is currently on.