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HomeHimachal PradeshFace-off between Himachal minister and chief secy

Face-off between Himachal minister and chief secy

Photo for representation purpose (Chief Secretary Anil Khachi and Mahinder Singh Thakur)
Shimla | TNR

Water resources and horticulture minister Mahendra Singh Thakur is in news again following his confrontation with state’s chief secretary Anil Khachi.

The minister allegedly took on Khachi, who was accused of running a parallel government, at the recently held Cabinet meeting. The reports of the incident have gone viral. Repeated attempts to contact the minister proved futile.

For Thakur this is not the first time that he has taken up cudgels against bureaucrats in the state over some issue or the other.

His anger against Khachi was related to the budget allocation for State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF). Thakur’s contention was that he was not consulted prior to the budget allocation for SDRF. The matter could be put on the backburner only with the intervention of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

Earlier the horticulture minister was in news following his confrontation with former project director of horticulture project and current additional chief secretary J C Sharma. The tussle continued for nearly a year and half following which Sharma was removed as project director. The project suffered while the duo fought with each other. Meanwhile, the World Bank, which was aiding the project, was forced to warn the Himachal government.

Principal secretary Dr Omkar Chand Sharma is yet another bureaucrat who is not in the good books of the horticulture minister. No wonder he refused to take charge of horticulture department when he was asked some time ago to do so. The government then had to hand over the charge once again to Amitabh Awasthi.

Currently, Dr Sharma, who is on the sidelines, is not the only bureaucrat to be running some insignificant department. Two additional chief secretary level officials, Sanjay Gupta and Nisha Singh, are also sidelined even as some bureaucrats are holding multiple charges.

Opposition cashing in

Congress senior leader Kaul Singh Thakur has not lost the opportunity of questioning the goings on in the state government particularly when it comes to the horticulture minister’s functioning. The Congress leader has been demanding the ouster of the horticulture minister.



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