Just a week before the CBI chief Ranjit Sinha retires under a cloud, the government is making hectic efforts to appoint his successor. The government moved a bill despite an Opposition walkout, to amend the Lokpal Act to enable the selection. There is added interest considering that the CBI’s reputation has taken a considerable beating.
Among the main contenders are three Bihar cadre officers, Abhayanand, Anil Sinha and Krishna Choudhary. Some observers consider the current director-general of the NIA Sharad Kumar as a strong contender, while not counting out special secretary for internal security Prakash Mishra, Rajasthan director-general of police Omendra Bhardwaj and former Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik. It’s going to be a nail-biting climax — but as always eyes are on the choice of the Prime Minister’s Office!
Babu on mission
It doesn’t happen often that an IAS officer accuses not just a colleague of corruption, but the chief secretary for allegedly trying to suppress information. Babu circles in Bengaluru are abuzz with this ongoing episode, which is causing considerable embarrassment to chief minister Siddaramaiah’s government.
Senior IAS officer M.N. Vijayakumar recently accused his colleague Mir Anees Ahmed, special deputy commissioner, of being involved in land grabbing, while he accused chief secretary Kaushik Mukherjee of keeping information from reaching chief minister Siddaramaiah. Mr Vijayakumar was a registrar with the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal when the alleged land grab occurred.
Sources say that this episode is only the latest in which Mr Vijayakumar has taken on his superiors. Earlier too, he had, reportedly, objected to the appointment of a retired Indian Police Service officer Kempaiah as state home minister K.J. George’s adviser.
In Kerala’s complex power politics the suspension of PWD secretary T.O. Sooraj for alleged graft has set off ripples. Though Mr Sooraj has been in the midst of several controversies, observers say the babu managed to survive due to support from across the political establishment. When chief minister Oommen Chandy approved the babu’s suspension recommended by the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau, it ended speculation that the babu’s political connections will bail him out.
This is probably the first instance in a long time when a senior Indian Administrative Service officer has been suspended by the state government. The babu, however, is putting up a fight. He apparently has threatened to name “reputed leaders” if the government continues to pursue the graft case against him. Empty threat?...