DW Bureau / Chandigarh
Close on the heels of its efforts to select a new ADC to the Governor, the Punjab Raj Bhawan has begun searching for an IAS officer who could be posted as the Secretary to Governor and UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore. The Governor, it is learnt, has already met some officers from Punjab to zero in on a suitable candidate who could replace the Additional Chief Secretary to Governor, M P Singh.
Sources said the State Government had recently proposed the names of three officers – Additional Chief Secretary (Planning) Vishwajeet Khanna, Principal Secretary (Cooperation) VK Singh and Excise and Taxation Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh for the post. However, Singh, a 1990-batch IAS officer and Khanna, a 1987-batch IAS officer were not too keen to go to the Raj Bhawan, whereas Vivek Pratap, a 1996 batch IAS officer, is already serving in an important position, sources said. As a result, the Governor House has started identifying the officers — some of whom have even met the Governor so that the posting could be done at the earliest.
Sources said M P Singh, a 1986 batch IAS officer and one of the longest serving officers at the Punjab Raj Bhawan, had recently requested the Governor to relieve him of his responsibilities at the Raj Bhawan where he has been serving for almost nine and a half years. Singh is presently also holding the post the Additional Chief Secretary (Technical Education).
The IAS officer had joined as the Secretary to the then Punjab Governor, Gen. S F Rodrigues (retd) on December 26, 2007 and later served with other Governors — Justice OP Varma, Shivraj V. Patil, Kaptan Singh Solanki and now VP Singh Badnore.
It is learnt that the ADC to Governor, Raj Bachan Singh Sandhu, who has been serving at the Raj Bhawan since 2006 has also requested the Governor if he could be relieved from his duties with the Governor and sent back to the State Police. Sandhu, a PPS officer of the 1994 batch, has had a long stint and the Raj Bhawan has still not been able to find his replacement.