In a major administrative reshuffle, the Akhilesh Yadav government on 21 April transferred 30 Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers.
Though the reason for the transfer wasn't stated, speculations are rife that the CM wants to transfer his 'trustworthy officers' before the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
The Akhilesh Yadav-led UP government had sparked a controversy in September 2015 after the government effected a major reshuffle involving over 60 IAS and IPS officers, just ahead of the notification for Panchayat election in the state.
Reportedly, the State Election Commission (SEC) had then raised questions over the timing of the transfers and asked the Principal Secretary (Home) and Principal Secretary (Appointments) to issue an explanation. Additional State Election Commissioner JP Singh said that it was observed that senior officers were transferred after the notification for Panchayat election was issued on 21 September 2015.
UP's transfer and posting policy has drawn criticism from many years. The two parties which have ruled the state for the major part of the last 15-odd years are Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. When in power, both parties have indulged in arbitrary transfers from administrative and police circles.
It is believed that there are two sets of officers in the state: one owing allegiance to Samajwadi Party and the other to BSP. Whichever party forms the government, its 'loyal officers' are given the best postings in the state while others have to compromise with 'punishment postings'.
The official statement from the government stated that the Secretary of Medical, Health, and Family Welfare departments will now be Commissioner.
Ashish Kumar Goyal, who was earlier Secretary, Basic Education department, is now the Commissioner of Food security, and his post will reportedly be taken over by Ajay Kumar Singh, who was the Secretary, Rural Engineering and Public Works Department (PWD).
Other prominent officials among those transferred are Special Secretary Finance, Sudesh Kumar Ojha, who will now be Director, Information and Special Secretary, MSME Arvind Kumar Singh who will take over as the new Director (administration) of Medical and Health services.
Apart from these officers, the government has also transferred 50 Provincial Civil Services (PCS) officers.
Earlier in March, the state government had transferred 67 IAS officials, including 29 district magistrates.
-With inputs from PTI