Even though the ATS is considered a prestigious posting and Mr Pandey even dangled the carrot of 25 per cent extra salary by way of allowances, the word is that even his unconventional approach of seeking applicants on social media has failed to find an enthusiastic audience among the cops. (Representational Image/ PTI)
The once-vaunted Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police seems to have lost its sheen. Many senior cops in the state believe that this was brought on over the past few years by the ongoing political tussle between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and BJP-ruled Centre. While some recent high-profile cases have been at the heart of this bitter rivalry, it seems to have led many cops in the state to lose interest in the ATS.
Feeling the pinch of several vacant posts, the state director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Pandey surprised many when he posted a message about two vacancies for the post of superintendents in the ATS Mumbai on Facebook. He invited interested candidates to approach the department or contact him through social media. Sources have also informed DKB that the state ATS chief, Vineet Agarwal, similarly, has written to the government seeking more manpower for the squad.
Even though the ATS is considered a prestigious posting and Mr Pandey even dangled the carrot of 25 per cent extra salary by way of allowances, the word is that even his unconventional approach of seeking applicants on social media has failed to find an enthusiastic audience among the cops.
Kerala babu triggers high drama, shunted out
The standoff between Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the Pinarayi Vijayan government has ended, for now. But for a while it did create an unprecedented situation in which Mr Khan refused to sign the ritualistic governor’s address to the state Assembly, forcing chief minister Vijayan to relent to his demand. However, as often seen in such tussles, a senior babu had to pay the price.
K.R. Jyothilal, principal secretary in the state general administration department (GAD, has been shunted out since Mr Khan was upset over a letter the babu had sent to Raj Bhavan with the appointment order of Hari Kartha, a BJP leader, as an additional PA to the governor. Sources have informed DKB that this letter, which started it all, mentioned that the government had approved the appointment of Kartha as per the governor’s wish. But it also conveyed the displeasure of the chief minister stating that there was no precedent of appointing political leaders in Raj Bhavan.
The governor took this as an affront, and it took the intervention of chief secretary V.P. Joy to pacify him and convince Mr Vijayan not to escalate the issue. Mr Jyothilal’s exit from GAD is being seen as part of the attempt to end the confrontation amiably.
IAS shortage in Karnataka likely to persist
Last month, when the Centre had sought the opinions of the states on its proposal to amend the IAS cadre rule, allowing it to pick any number of IAS or IPS officers from a state for Central deputation, Karnataka was among the 11 states that had opposed the move, initially. The state has now changed its stand obviously due to the "double engine" government in the state and at the Centre.
However, there is no denying that the state is facing a severe shortage of IAS officers with some babu watchers saying that there is a deficit of 63 officers. This has led to the unhealthy situation of the existing IAS officers discharging multiple responsibilities. Senior IAS officer Rakesh Singh is the additional chief secretary to the departments of urban development and water resources, as well as managing director of Karnataka Milk Federation. There are several others in a similar bind.
However, with the Basavraj Bommai government doing a flip-flop on its earlier stance and with the Centre aiming to persist with its proposal, the situation will only worsen, babu watchers say since the Centre is also facing a shortage of IAS officers — which inspired this proposal in the first place.