Jagan overhauls administration before swearing in as Andhra CM

YSR Congress party president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has begun overhauling of administration, bringing in officials of choice in key positions even before being formally sworn-in as the new chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.

The YSR Congress party swept the April 11 assembly elections in the state, winning 151 seats in the 175-member assembly, besides bagging 22 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats. Jagan will take oath as the new chief minister of Andhra at a massive public ceremony to be held at Indira Priyadarshini Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada at 12.23 pm on May 30.

A YSRCP leader familiar with the developments said Stephen Ravindra, a 1999-batch senior IPS officer of Telangana cadre, has been finalised as the new intelligence chief of Andhra Pradesh.

Ravindra, who is presently working as Inspector General of Police in Hyderabad range, met Jagan at the latter’s Tadepalli residence on Monday evening.

Sources said the chief minister-designate made a request with Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to relieve him and depute him to Andhra Pradesh. “The Telangana government will write to the Centre to approve the deputation. In all probability, Ravindra will be relieved in a week,” a party source said.

Ravindra, who was the chief security officer of Jagan’s father and former Andhra CM Y S Rajasekhar Reddy in 2004, is believed to be close to YSR family. He is heading the Special Investigation Team of the Telangana police probing into the data theft case.

In fact, Jagan began revamping the administration within hours of securing the massive mandate in the elections. On the very evening of the results being declared, Jagan declared that present chief secretary L V Subrahmanyam, who was appointed the Election Commission on April 6 on interim basis, would continue in the post.

The appointment of Subrahmanyam, who was one of the close confidants of YS Rajasekhar, was strongly resisted by the Telugu Desam Party headed by N Chandrababu Naidu. In fact, Naidu accused Subrahmanyam of being a “covert supporter” of YSRCP and a co-accused in the CBI cases pending against Jagan.

During his short tenure as interim chief secretary, Subrahmanyam reviewed the functioning of the finance department and reportedly stopped several pending bills due to be paid to contractors by the TDP government.

He also decided to appoint retired chief secretary Ajeya Kallam as the state government advisor in administration and asked Subramanyam to take him on the board immediately.

Party sources said Jagan has also decided to appoint senior IPS officer Gautam Sawang as the new director general of police in place of R P Thakur, who was preferred choice of Chandrababu Naidu though Sawang was senior to Thakur in experience.

Amarlapudi Joshi, presently working in CM Security, has been appointed as chief security officer of Jagan.

During the electioneering, the YSRCP complained to the Election Commission that Naidu had posted more than 50 senior IAS and IPS officers belonging to his caste in various key positions, in order to manipulate the elections. “Now, all such officials would be replaced by a fresh team of officials to help Jagan run the administration smoothly,” the YSRCP leader said.

First Published:
May 27, 2019 18:53 IST

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