The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday issued a Government Order (GO) transferring D Karthikeyan IAS to the post of Principal Secretary to the Government, Higher Education Department. Only a few days ago, Karthikeyan was transferred to the post of Principal Secretary to the Government, Highways and Minor Ports Department. The move to shunt him out of the high profile department comes following external pressure to transfer the IAS officer who faces allegations of corruption in a case relating to Chennai Corporation tenders.
Contractors had alleged that there was corruption and lack of transparency in the process when Karthikeyan was Commissioner of the Chennai Corporation. Notably, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, when he was Leader of the Opposition, had written a letter demanding a probe into the allegations of corruption in the allotment of tenders worth Rs 740 crore. The move to now allot a key portfolio to the senior bureaucrat had raised eyebrows. Arappor Iyakkam, an NGO that had raised issues of corruption in the Chennai Corporation, had questioned the Chief Minister's move and asked why Karthikeyan had been given a crucial portfolio like Highways.
On May 26, Karthikeyan was transferred from the post of Principal Secretary to the Government, Housing and Urban Development Department to the Highways and Minor Ports Department. The recent shuffle is now between Dheeraj Kumar IAS and Karthikeyan, and the former will be taking up the post of Principal Secretary to Government, Highways and Minor Ports Department.
D.Karthikeyan IAS transferred out of Highways in 2 days! Any feedback on Dheeraj Kumar IAS?? Karthikeyan has been posted to Higher education. I think they figured that its an area which is tough to expose Corruption as dealings r btn University and Govt. pic.twitter.com/6dyUlTQaxO— Jayaram Venkatesan (@JayaramArappor) May 27, 2021
Dear CM @mkstalin While u were in the opposition, you demanded action against D.Kathikeyan IAS for his role in the Rs 740 Crore tender scam in Chennai Corporation. But now as CM when u hv power to take action, u r giving him a key powerful portfolio ?https://t.co/1xRvblGuaR— Jayaram Venkatesan (@JayaramArappor) May 26, 2021
The new GO issued by Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu also said that Shiv Das Meena has been repatriated to state cadre after serving in New Delhi as the Chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board in the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. He will now serve as Additional Chief Secretary to the Government, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department. Harmander Singh IAS, who held this post, has now been transferred to the post of Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Sugar, a temporary posting. He will also be Chairman and Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Sugar Corporation Ltd.
The GO also mentions the creation of another temporary post — Additional Chief Secretary to Government, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Farming and Fisheries Department. TS Jawahar IAS who was the Additional Chief Secretary and Transport Commissioner has been transferred to this post.