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Abrupt replacement of Coal Secretary remains unexplained: Reading between the lines

By Indian Mandarins- 21 Sep 2019


When corporate world was upbeat over announcement of Finance Minister reducing corporate tax resulting Sensex surging a new high, there was a complete uncertainty in coal sector.


The abrupt replacement of coal secretary Sumanta Chaudhuri (IAS:1985:WB) with Anil Kumar Jain (IAS:1986:MP) caused ruffle across services and batches even as senior members of bureaucracy are still clueless as what caused this unexplained reshuffle.


Certain aspects generate curiosity for sure. Appointment orders of Jain as new coal secretary is completely silent on Sumanta. Neither he was repatriated nor posted laterally to any other department/ministry at Centre, nor did it mention whether Sumanta was placed under waiting for further posting.


The order came at a time when Mamata Banerjee was right there in New Delhi meeting PM and HM adding to the rumour that Didi would have asked for the services of Choudhury as the outgoing chief secretary Malay Kumar De (IAS:1985:WB) is retiring in next couple of days. But various senior officers of West Bengal cadre believe that neither Didi was so keen to make Choudhuri as CS nor did Choudhury has the interest of leaving Delhi sixteen months ahead of his retirement i.e. 31.01.2021.


Coal ministry in the last few years had been a witness of such abrupt exits. Chaudhuri served as coal secretary for ten months whereas his predecessor Inderjit Singh (IAS:1985:KL) had less than five month’s tenure as coal secretary.

It appears that whatever happened during UPA-II continues to cast its shadow on Coal Ministry leaving everyone clueless about frequent unexplained exits.

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