Shimla | TNR
Those who say that no one is indispensable are ostensibly wrong if they come to know about retired civil servant PS Rana, who recently got a ninth extension for a year as the OSD of Himachal Pradesh Governor.
Political sources say the BJP government in the state is turning out to be no different from the previous Congress government under Virbhadra Singh when it comes to granting extensions to “loyal” civil servants. Ironically there are over 8 lakh registered unemployed youths in the state.
Post retirement in 2013, Rana got an extension thanks to the Virbhadra Singh government. Subsequently Rana got extensions till 2017. Earlier he was private secretary to the Governor. Later he was promoted as senior private secretary to the Governor and then in 2018 he was designated as OSD to the Governor.
Political circles are abuzz with the news of the fresh extension granted to Rana particularly because during the budget session last year Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had talked about not allowing reappointments or granting extensions to retired civil servants. A promise was also made to unemployed youths in the BJP manifesto during the assembly elections that they would be a priority and reemployment and extensions would be shunned.
While in the Opposition, the BJP never tired of branding the Congress dispensation as a government of “tired and retired” people.
However, the BJP government at present is not exactly shunning “retired” civil servants. Rana is not the only one who was “obliged”. The list of other “beneficiaries” include retired IAS Dr RN Batta, BJP senior leader’s brother and IIT, Una, principal, chief engineer of Mandi zone PWD, project coordinator of Electronic Corporation and deputy manager, personnel administration.
On being asked about the changed stance of the government, BJP state president Suresh Kashyap said that reemployment and extensions were being granted only in special circumstances.