By Elton Gomes
Senior IAS officer Vijay Kumar Dev has been appointed as the next Chief Secretary (CS) of Delhi, the Home Ministry said in an order yesterday night.
“With the approval of the competent authority, it has been decided to appoint Vijay Kumar Dev, IAS (AGMUT: 1987) as Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi with effect from the date of joining till further orders,” the Home Ministry’s order read, as per an IANS report.
Dev will be replacing Anshu Prakash as Delhi’s Chief Secretary. Dev pipped Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Parida, former Principal Secretary (Finance) S.N. Sahai, and NDMC (North Delhi Municipal Council) chairman Naresh Kumar, who were seen as frontrunners to the post.
Of late, the Arvind Kejriwal government has had several disagreements with the Election Commission over the alleged deletion of voters’ names from the city’s electoral rolls. On September 1, the CEO office, which was headed by Dev, had released the draft electoral rolls.
Who is Vijay Kumar Dev?
Dev, a 1987-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, Union Territories) cadre, was posted as Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi.
Dev was appointed Delhi’s CEO in July 2018. He had served in the same position in 2012-2014, before being made the UT adviser in Chandigarh.
Dev served as UT adviser in Chandigarh for around 15 months in 2015-16. Thereafter, he was sent on deputation as the Deputy Election Commissioner, after which, he was made the Director General of the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development.
Dev’s removal as UT adviser in Chandigarh came as a shock, particularly since he had maintained amiable relations in Chandigarh. He was popular with Chandigarh folks, and was seen everywhere, showing up at almost every event to which he was invited.
Sources had claimed that a delegation of BJP leadership had lodged a complaint with Home Minister Rajnath Singh against Dev. They had alleged that Dev was not co-operative.
In addition, local MP Kirron Kher had expressed her displeasure over the “lax attitude of officials” who were “not replying to the grievance letters and queries” sent by her or her office. The letters were concerning issues faced by residents that were personally taken up by Kher.
Anshu Prakash transferred after accusing CM Kejriwal of assault
Dev’s predecdssor, Anshu Prakash, who had accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party leaders of assaulting him in February, was transferred to the Department of Telecommunications on November 17 as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle.
Prakash will now be serving as the Additional Secretary in the Department of Telecommunications. He will be filling a vacancy created by the appointment of another IAS official, N Sivasailam, as the Special Secretary (Logistics), Department of Commerce.
The bureaucratic reshuffle also saw other officials, including ABP Pandey and Yogendra Tripathy, being transferred.
Prakash, a 1986-batch IAS official, was allegedly assaulted in a midnight meeting held at the Chief Minister’s residence on February 19.
The Delhi Police chargesheet claimed that the attack was deliberate, and named Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia among those accused.
Investigators alleged a cover-up by the accused, which involved the disconnection of several CCTVs so that the incident could not be recorded.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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