The Jammu and Kashmir government is likely to accept Chief Secretary Muhammad Iqbal Khanday’s request for voluntary retirement. Khanday has asked the government to relieve him three months before his retirement and has said that he will not be going to the office from 1 September.
Sources in the PDP-BJP government said that government is likely to decide on the request after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed returns to Kashmir on Monday. Many senior IAS officers have already said publicly that the government should select the new chief secretary on the basis of seniority.
Sources said that the BJP and PDP are inclined to make B.R. Sharma, currently principal secretary, planning, the new chief secretary. He is fifth on the seniority list.
Khanday, a 1978 batch IAS officer, has told the media that there were growing differences with the government and that his office was being ignored on all important administrative decisions. He alleged that the present government has ignored his office and he has been reduced to a “stenographer”. He also claimed that many officers have been attached for no valid reason, while many officials have been given more than one charge, triggering a new culture of chamchagiri.
A senior PDP minister claimed there are serious allegations against Khanday’s office that have not yet been investigated.