In an unsual move, the Andhra Pradesh government has transferred Chief Secretary L V Subrahmanyam and posted him as Director-General of the AP Human Resources Development Institute in Bapatla. The orders were issued by Praveen Prakash, Principal Secretary (Political) of the General Administration Department.
In the past week, the two officers have been embroiled in a spat, with the Chief Secretary serving a show-cause notice to Praveen Prakash. Earlier, it had been reported that the notice was served for including certain topics in the cabinet meeting held on October 30, without following due procedure.
A memo that subsequently came to light on Sunday revealed that the Chief Secretary had alleged that Praveen Prakash had exhibited ‘grave misconduct’ and ‘misbehaviour’ and resorted to ‘willful insubordination’. The CS also sought an explanation for the Principal Secretary’s ‘violation of business rules and conduct rules’.
The memo reportedly mentions that Praveen Prakash had sent a file regarding the YSR Lifetime Achievement Awards to the Chief Secretary for placing the proposal before the Council of Ministers, without the requisite permissions as per business rules.
Did memo irk Jagan?
A senior bureaucrat TNM spoke to said that the transfer orders signified that Praveen Prakash's proposal had the Chief Minister's approval. "By issuing a memo, the Chief Secretary ended up questioning not just the Prinicipal Secretary, but also the Chief Minister."
Should transfer order have come from Praveen Prakash?
The transfer order has raised questions over whether the GAD Principal Secretary does have the authority to transfer the Chief Secretary. Speaking to TNM, retired senior bureaucrat E A S Sarma said, “Under the Business Rules, no officer in CMO has the authority to transfer any other officer, more so the CS. This, in my view, reflects a breakdown of governance in AP. Use of excessive authority by any officer in CMO is undesirable and reflects poorly on the CMO. I get the feeling that CM's advisers, whoever they are, have not rendered prudent advice to him.”
However, another bureaucrat- who did not wish to be named- disagreed with Sarma and said that since Praveen Prakash was the Principal Secretary in charge of Government Administration, he was the person who was supposed to sign such transfer orders.