Surprise : Rahul Bhatnagar calling the shots even in Yogi’s regime

UP CS Rahul Bhatnagar orders checking at petrol pumps across state
UP CS Rahul Bhatnagar orders checking at petrol pumps across state

Lucknow: The dependence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar in the absence of an effective CM’s secretariat has already raised an eyebrow or two, specially in the recent reshuffle of 44 senior IAS officers.

The insiders of the power corridors point out that the transfer list has stamp of the Chief Secretary and he owes justification about posting of some of the officers at the important places. A lot of expectations had emanated from the work station of Yogi who, all felt, meant business and clearly supported the honest and efficient officers- contrary to what was witnessed.

The inside sources said that the Rahul Bhatnagar had a major say in the transfers but his choice of some of the officers did not go well with the Yogi’s scheme of things, it seemed. Generally regarded as ‘away from people’ kind of officer more interested in status-quoist approach, the UP Chief Secretary can match the pace of Yogi, has always been under doubts.

Moreover, his major assignment as Principal Secretary of Sugar department which he always preferred to keep with him as additional charge even before he became the CS, is anybody’s guess. The earnest approach of Yogi government towards the payment of cane dues of the farmers looks in contrast to the image of Rahul as ‘supporter’ of sugar lobby. can he or can’t he perform his duty as the head of the executive remains to be seen.

It was for everyone to comprehend what Yogi Adityanath had said after swearing-in that he had very little time to deliver. If this haste goes in sync with the attitude of Rahul Bhatnagar, is another point to ponder. The first posting done on his suggestion in Urban Development Department in itself was a pointer that how an established non-performer of years could be given such an important assignment. But then.. considering dearth of officers, it was acceptable but the mass transfers of 44 after that and that too in the important commissionerates like Lucknow and Bareilly will be asked about.

What makes him so strong and formidable is another tricky question because it was the same BJp which had asked the election commission to remove him from the post before the assembly polls.

A senior UP Minister, on the condition of anonymity, told that many of them wanted some bright officers in their respective departments but were not entertained as most of the briefing was done by the Chief secretary.