Jammu and Kashmir government’s recent order directing administrative secretaries to address all papers and files to new chief secretary Arun Kumar Mehta from May 31 has sparked speculations about outgoing chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam’s reluctance to hand over the charge to the new incumbent.
In its order the commissioner secretary to the government, general administration department has said all the functions of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary would now be disposed of by Arun Kumar Mehta.
The order reads, “Accordingly, all the administrative departments are directed to address/mark all the papers and files to Arun Kumar Mehta, IAS, with effect from 31.05.2021.”
The government on May 28 appointed financial commissioner Arun Kumar Mehta, a 1988-batch IAS officer, as the new chief secretary after B V R Subrahmanyam was appointed as an officer on special duty in the Union Ministry of Commerce.
A day after issuing the order B V R Subrahmanyam was seen carrying out his normal activity as the chief secretary. This fuelled speculations that Subrahmanyam is reluctant to hand over the charge to Mehta forcing the government to direct all administrative secretaries to report to Mehta from May 31.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he had not seen such an order before. “Very unusual order issued by the Jammu and Kashmir government. If I didn’t know better I’d read this order to mean the outgoing chief secretary wasn’t too keen to hand over charge to his successor. Either way I haven’t seen an order like this before,” Omar said in a tweet.
Very unusual order issued by the J&K government. If I didn’t know better I’d read this order to mean the outgoing CS wasn’t too keen to hand over charge to his successor. Either way I haven’t seen an order like this before. pic.twitter.com/RDokJkpGGF— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) May 29, 2021
In another tweet, referring to the outgoing chief secretary, Omar said, “A man who famously said no Kashmiris shed tears when mainstream politicians were detained in 2019. In 2021, it looks like no one can wait to show him the door. Be careful who you step on the way up, you will meet them on the way down.”
A man who famously said no Kashmiris shed tears when mainstream politicians were detained in 2019. In 2021 it looks like no one can wait to show him the door. Be careful who you step on on the way up, you will meet them on the way down. pic.twitter.com/qI3eeQxWt0— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) May 29, 2021
After the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019 which saw a communication blockade, arrest of thousands of people including three former chief ministers, B Subrahmanyam was seen as the most powerful person in Jammu and Kashmir.
Subrahmanyam after the abrogation had said, “Jammu and Kashmir was a broken state and there was no system in place due to years of misgovernance, corruption and unbelievable levels of fraud committed by leaders of mainstream parties and separatist organisations. There, not a single soul cried over the detention of political and separatist leaders in August last year.”