Ajoy Mehta will be CM Uddhav Thackeray's principal adviser
Incumbent chief secretary will take on the new job on July 1, the CMO announces
Incumbent Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Ajoy Mehta will take on a new job in the state government a day after retiring on June 30. The senior IAS officer will take charge of the office of the principal adviser to CM Uddhav Thackeray on July 1, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) announced on Wednesday.
He will work from officer number 603 on the sixth floor of Mantralaya, where the CM sits. In a statement, the CMO said state's economic and administrative set up needed an experienced person."Mehta will essentially work on COVID 19 situation and industrial boost," it added.
Mehta, the 1984 batch IAS officer, was appointed the chief secretary (CS) in May 2019 by the previous government. The Devendra Fadnavis-government had extended his service by six months from September 2019 to March 2020 in the wake of the Assembly polls. Another extension of three months was given because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He became the first bureaucrat in Maharashtra to get an extension beyond six months.
Mehta in the CM's good books and also well-tuned with NCP boss Sharad Pawar, but some office-bearers in the government and bureaucracy have been at loggerheads with him. Unfazed by criticism from his detractors, Mehta has been steadfast in influencing government decisions.
Sanjay Kumar is new CS
Mehta's IAS batch mate Sanjay Kumar, additional chief secretary (housing and home), has been appointed the new chief secretary. He will take charge of the post after Mehta relinquishes the office. Former Mumbai municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi and additional chief secretary (services) Sitaram Kunte — both from IAS 1985 batch — were next in line on the basis of their seniority.
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