With Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal approving the appointment of incumbent Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi as the State Election Commissioner on Wednesday and Padhi applying to the Government for voluntary retirement, now there are speculations as to who would be the next topmost bureaucrat in the State administration.
A 1983-batch IAS officer, Padhi would have retired from Government service in February 2020. But he opted for the State Election Commissioner (SEC) post, which he will hold for the next five years. The post assumes significance as elections to urban local bodies are due in coming months. The State Election Commission is also responsible for holding three-tier panchayat polls. After exit of Padhi, while names of several senior IAS officers are doing rounds for the Chief Secretary post, Additional Chief Secretary, Home Asit Kumar Tripathy seems to be in top of the list under discussion as many senior officers are on Central deputation now.
In the seniority list, comes 1983-batch IAS officer Injeti Srinivas, who is now Union Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Next to Srinivas, 1984-batch office Arun Kumar Panda is in seniority line, who is now serving as Union Secretary, Ministry of MSME. The 1985-batch officer Upendra Kumar Singh is Union Secretary, Water Resources. Similarly, 1985-batch officer Surendra Nath Tripathi is now Secretary, the Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
Though Agriculture Production Commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal belongs to the 1985 batch, he will retire in January 2020. Next to Dhal, come the names of 1986- batch officers ACS MSME LN Gupta and Development Commissioner-cum-ACS and Chief Administrator KBK Asit Tripathy. While Gupta will retire this month, Tripathy seems to be ahead in the race for the top post.