Bhushan Gagrani next on Uddhav Thackeray's transfer list?

Updated: Feb 15, 2020, 07:45 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Rumours started doing the rounds after Ashish Kumar Singh replaces Gagrani, who is on a vacation abroad, as the principal secretary to the CM

Bhushan Gagrani. Pic/Twitter
Bhushan Gagrani. Pic/Twitter

Even as Uddhav Thackeray is on a transfer spree, speculation is rife that his Principal Secretary Bhushan Gagrani will be shifted out of the Chief Minister's Office. The rumours started floating after senior bureaucrat Ashish Kumar Singh replaced Gagrani, who is on a family vacation abroad.

Additional chief secretary Sitaram Kunte issued an order on Thursday, asking Singh to take the charge of the office immediately. Singh was the principal secretary to Prithviraj Chavan when the Congress leader helmed the state between 2010 and 2014. The BJP-led government, after taking charge of the state, sidelined Singh. However, he eventually returned to the mainstream with important tasks at Mantralaya. At present, he is the principal secretary at the Transport and Ports Department.

A senior bureaucrat said it was interesting that instead of handing over the charge to Vikas Kharge, the other principal secretary to the CM, Singh was chosen for the job. "We wonder whether Gagrani would return to the CMO. We will be watching the developments very closely," said the bureaucrat.

When Gagrani was chosen for the important post in December, the bureaucratic circle was surprised as he had worked with Thackeray's predecessor Devendra Fadnavis. Now, the rumours of his relocation have started doing the rounds at the Mantralaya corridors.

However, an officer at the CMO told mid-day that it would premature to predict Gagrani's ouster. "If he is replaced, the people will definitely know. Gagrani has sought the CM's permission to go overseas on a cruise holiday with his family. I don't know the duration of his vacations but I'm told he will be out for a fairly long time," said the officer.

Gagrani was not available for comment.

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