In Andhra Pradesh the babudom is strongly controlled by bossism. The political advantage is calculated with the performance in their respective duties and responsibilities.

In politics, a boss is a person who controls a faction or local branch of a political party. They do not necessarily hold public office themselves; most historical bosses did not, at least during the times of their greatest influence. … Reformers typically allege that political bosses are corrupt.

Academic evaluation of the phenomenon of bossism is riddled with ambivalence. In the early twentieth century, the academy heaped scorn on bosses and big city political machines for perpetuating corruption and inefficiency, and called for civil service and electoral reform that would drive bosses out of power.

For babudom, the career graph seems to be set amidst the snake and ladder board.  They may rise at state and central levels and win accolades even beyond that; yet, a peccadillo or an insignificant lapse during service may surface anytime, even post-retirement, to be a blot on their escutcheon.

The latest victim of this Moksha Patam seems to be former secretary of Union health ministry Preeti Sudan, who is now at the receiving end of ‘harsh’ treatment by the Andhra government post retirement.

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The State government has sought an explanation from the retired IAS officer of the AP state cadre for allegedly misusing her position. The government says she violated the provisions of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968 by converting the Extraordinary Leave (EOL) as Earned Leave/Half Pay Leave by influencing subordinates, without competence and without concurrence of the cadre controlling authority viz. Union Department of Personnel & Training and the AP govt.

The 1983-batch IAS officer, while serving as Vice Chairman and MD of the AP State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited, was granted Extraordinary Leave (EOL) for one year (from March 1, 2005 to February 28, 2006) to enable her to go to the US to join her family.

A little bird told us that the present extreme action against her is the consequence of her conspicuous negative responses to the pleas forwarded by the Andhra government during the previous peak of Covid.  She chose not to give a nod to the state government’s requests on local polls when they were suspended citing the pandemic as the reason.

The Jagan government’s move, coupled with the threat of ‘disciplinary action’ against her, has surprised bureaucratic circles, considering her accomplishments.  They find the official ‘charge’ against her amusing, because her venial lapse is more than a decade old.
Among bureaucrats, she has been a star performer so much so that her service as Union health secretary was extended by the Narendra Modi government.

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She has been hailed as “one who led India’s fight against Covid pandemic as Union health secretary. That apart, her work has been globally recognized, considering that the World Health Organization had appointed her as one of the 11 panelists of an independent global committee, surprising even the Union government.

For, the Union government had recommended former foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s name for the WHO slot. Another bird told us that New Zealand former prime minister Helen Clarke, WHO panel head, preferred Preeti to Gokhale. WHO’s independent panel is expected to submit a report in May this year.

That is well before the State government’s two-week notice to Preeti expires. It would be interesting to see what will happen in the months ahead as Covid takes another giant leap in AP.

On the other hand, it looks like the AP administration may soon be headed by a lady once again.  A little birdie from the Velagapudi Secretariat told us that chances are bright for MA & UD secretary Y Srilakshmi to get the most coveted job in the state administration.

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Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is learnt to be keen on making Srilakshmi the next Chief Secretary, after Adityanath Das retires. To lay it on thick, the Jagan government has recommended her promotion to Special Chief Secretary.

It is a different matter that the Centre is believed to have applied brakes, considering that her role in Jagan’s quid pro quo case filed by the CBI is still under cloud.  Srilakshmi, who too has spent a few months in jail after being booked by CBI in the Jagan’s quid pro quo case, had opted for AP cadre, soon after Jagan came to power. Jagan did his part to bring her to Andhra Pradesh cadre.

If everything goes fine for Jagan, who believes in ‘no kusti, but dosti’ with the Centre; Srilakshmi would easily become the second woman chief secretary. Neelam Sawhney, who retired on December 31 last year, was the first woman Chief Secretary of the state.  #KhabarLive #hydnews