Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, Friday removed B R Sharma as the Chief Secretary (CS) of the state replacing him with her Principal Secretary, B B Vyas, despite opposition from BJP over the move.
According to sources the BJP had been opposing the transfer of B R Sharma as the CS. In today’s cabinet meeting which was chaired by Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu, she had moved the proposal for the transfer of Sharma.
Even as the BJP had been opposing his transfer, but Mehbooba ensured that Sharma was replaced with B B Vyas, who has functioned in different capacities including the Principal Secretary to former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah.
Government issued the transfer orders today stating that it was carried out in the interest of administration. However, a senior cabinet Minister said that there was an Opposition from the BJP to replace Sharma as the Chief Secretary. He had taken over as the CS in 2015 after superseding many officers including IAS officers Khurshid Ganie and Arun Kumar. Ganie has recently been appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner.
Sharma, a 1984 batch IAS officer, is from Jammu region and the BJP had been flaunting his appointment as part of its policy to ensure that the people from Jammu are not discriminated in the appointments of administrative posts. However, a senior cabinet Minister said that “the BJP opposition didn’t work to deter CM from replacing the CS.’’
“ It was the CM who proposed the name of B B Vyas as the new CS in the cabinet and BJP couldn’t protest as the coalition had earlier come to near split after Mehbooba had walked out from cabinet meeting over the top police posts being reserved for Kashmir Police Service cadre officers,” said an official.
Vyas has also superseded two other officers in the administration, Krishan Ballabh Agarwal, and Pramod Kumar Jain. While Aggarwal is the Principal Secretary Co-ordination in the office of Resident Commission Jammu and Kashmir Government in New Delhi, Jain is the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Institute of Management and Public Administration (IMPA).
Reacting over the premature transfer of Sharma, who would retire in 2020, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Minister, Chaudhary Zulfikar Ali, however said that the decision was unanimously approved in the cabinet meeting. “I think that B R Sharma has been elevated after his transfer as the Adviser to the Chief Minister,’’ he said.