Vijayawada: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu well may land in an embarrassing situation if government officials do not attend the cabinet meeting that he intends to hold if the Election Commission (EC) doesn’t grant them permission to be there.
In that case, Naidu will have to hold the meeting only with his cabinet colleagues sans officials.
As per rule position, the Chief Secretary (CS) needs to circulate a note to all the officials to be ready with relevant information and to attend the cabinet meeting after the information from the chief minister’s office comes to him on holding the cabinet meeting.
Senior bureaucrats in the government pointed out that since the election code was in effect in the state, the chief secretary may seek the advice of the EC whether to attend the meeting and also whether to circulate the note or not. If the EC does allow the CS to circulate the note, then the officials will attend otherwise they will not.
Mr Naidu who was visibly miffed with the chief secretary L.V. Subramanyam for not attending his review meeting on super cyclone Fani preparedness had said that he would hold a cabinet meeting and talk to the officials indirectly hinting at taking the CS to task for violating business rules.
Mr Naidu is of the opinion that while the Chief Minister and his cabinet was supreme, the chief secretary was only a facilitator and had to attend his review meetings when necessary.
“In this case, the CS may seek advice from the EC whether to attend and circulate the note. If the EC agrees then fine, otherwise it will be only ministers who will take part in the cabinet meeting,” a retired senior bureaucrat told this correspondent.
When the retired bureaucrat was told about the Chief Minister pointing at the cabinet meetings that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been heading even after the poll code came to effect, he said it was not clear if the Centre had sought the EC’s permission or not and whether a permission was accorded or not....