Thursday, December 7, 2023

Monday Mirchi: IAS officers yet to give up OSD roles

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Some officials in Telangana, despite being elevated as IAS officer, continue to discharge their current functions, perhaps by force of habit, trans-departmental loyalty or simply in deference to their long-standing bosses. Ashok Reddy Korem, who is now I&PR Commissioner, continues to play the role of OSD to Minister Harish Rao. A little bird told us that he still gives orders as OSD to many. Likewise, Minister K T Rama Rao’s OSD, P Katyayani, presently Director of Mines, is in a similar situation. Whispers in the corridors of power are that it will take some more time for such officials to realise their individual aspirations to enjoy true power as an IAS officer. That day is not far, considering the fast-approaching elections and their existing roles.

Jayesh’s ways leave visitors uncomfortable
Transparency no doubt requires openness to a discernibly high degree. Still, inside an official’s cabin, when any discussion is loud and clear even to persons who are not privy to the main discussion, there is a level of discomfort that visitors would have to stomach whether they like it or not. A walk into Jayesh Ranjan’s chambers would normally reveal a huge number of visitors. Although most of the visitors expect a one-on-one, he prefers to virtually keep everything out in the open. He uses a blaring speaker while speaking to the officials concerned. So, if you enter his cabin with an issue that you prefer to keep private, there is no way in which you can prevent other visitors waiting in the room from overhearing the gist of the matter. At times, this leaves visitors red-faced.

AP babus better placed than their TS counterparts
When was the last time that any Minister or political leader met a Collector at his bungalow in Telangana? No idea? Understandable. For, in Telangana, IAS officers are orbiting the camp offices of Ministers, while in Andhra Pradesh the situation is not so egregious. Dr. Manazir Jeelani Samoon, Nandyal Collector, was recently blessed with a child. Minister Bugganna Rajendranath visited the Collector’s bungalow to convey wishes. This led to whispers in the corridors of power on how respectfully IAS officers are treated in Andhra Pradesh, compared to their counterparts in Telangana. In Telangana, even if Collectors willingly deliver their babies in government hospitals, all they can expect is a tweet. In contrast, in AP it is always so sweet!

SP shifted to ensure Minister’s friend wins
Uniformed officials are expected to be apolitical. But they do get stigmatized or become suspects in the eyes of politicos when someone else in their family happens to be a defiant politician belonging to the ruling party. Mahabubabad Superintendent of Police (SP) Sharath Chandra Pawar has been transferred following his mother-in-law Ajmera Rekha Nayak’s public expression of dissent over denial of the Bharat Rashtra Samiti party ticket from Khanapur. Pawar was asked to report to the Telangana State Police Academy on August 28. The buzz is that in view of the upcoming elections, Minister KT Rama Rao is making all-out efforts to ensure the victory of his close friend and NRI Bhukya Johnson Rathod Naik. The SP’s transfer is seen as collateral damage. KCR had nominated Johnson Rathod Naik for Khanapur. Johnson, a close friend of KTR from their days at Nizam College in Hyderabad, accompanied KTR during his recent visit to the USA

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