Jagan will have two more key officials, D.G. Sawan as DGP and Stephen Ravindra as Intelligence IG.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s office (CMO) will be led by newly appointed principal adviser Ajay Kallam, a retired chief secretary and 1983 batch IAS officer. Kallam’s post has almost been fashioned on that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s principal secretary Nripendra Mishra, also a retired bureaucrat. Kallam will enjoy the Cabinet rank.
Initially, it was planned to have Kallam, who held several important positions in the combine Andhra Pradesh and later in Andhra till he retired in 2017, as the principal secretary of the Andhra Pradesh CMO. But, due to some procedural issues raised by the Central government, he was taken as the principal adviser with a monthly salary of Rs 2.50 lakh plus all perks and allowances of his last post, chief secretary (CS). He will have a tenure of three years.
Hailing from Guntur district of Andhra, Kallam, a post graduate in agriculture and an MBA from an Australian university, has been actively associated with Jagan’s YSR Congress since his retirement in the last two years. Kallam worked with former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu as CS, but criticised many of his decisions after the retirement.
Like another former chief secretary I.Y.R. Krishna Rao, Kallam, too, joined hands with Jagan and questioned many decisions of Naidu as Chief Minister and alleged irregularities in big projects like capital city Amaravati and in the running of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) of which he was a former executive officer (EO).
Salmon Arokiya Raju, 2000 batch IAS officer, will be the secretary to the Chief Minister. Jagan’s trusted officers K. Dhanunjaya Reddy will be additional secretary and retired deputy collector P. Krishna Mohan Reddy will be OSD. A couple of more IAS officers, including a woman, are expected to join Jagan’s CMO in the coming days. On Friday, G.D.V. Krishna Mohan, a journalist, who looked after speeches of Jagan in the last few years, has been appointed as an adviser to the CM (communications).
T.V.K. Reddy, an Indian Information Service officer from the I&B ministry, has been roped in as Commissioner of Information and Public Relations which looks after the key task of issuing advertisements to the media. Jagan has criticised the Naidu government for splurging public money on lavish advertisements.
Team Jagan will also have two more key officials—D. Gautam Sawan, a 1996 batch IPS officer, as the DGP and Stephen Ravindra, a 1999 batch IPS officer as the Intelligence IG. Interestingly, these two IPS officers have served with Jagan’s late father Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy as the CM. Ravindra was YSRs’ chief security officer.
Jagan lobbied hard with Telangana Chief Minister KCR and the Centre to bring Ravindra from Hyderabad to Andhra on deputation. At the time of bifurcation, Ravindra was allotted to Telangana as its IG. Another IAS officer of 1988 batch Y. Srilakshmi, too, is likely to join Jagan’s team in the coming weeks.
She, like chief secretary Subramanyam and Jagan himself, went to jail for about a year in CBI cases filed after the demise of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. Jagan might take a sympathetic view and is likely to induct her into his team, sources said. Jagan went on record to say that cases by CBI were filed to take revenge against him after his father’s death.