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Extension or No extension: Why Jaipur is so apprehensive about its CS?

By IndianMandarins- 31 Oct 2020
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The suspense has heightened in the bureaucratic world of Rajasthan. CM Ashok Gehlot and his blue-eyed Chief Secretary Rajiv Swarup would always remember October 31, 2020, as the day when the central government swung them into the arena of agonizing uncertainty till the last moment on the issue of giving its consent or otherwise to the state government's request seeking a normal extension for Swarup whose retirement takes place by 00.00 hrs today. 

Reportedly, The CM is said to have worked really hard to make Swarup first the CS in early July 20202 and now to push for his extension. 

To make Swarup the CS before his superannuation, Gehlot is learned to have struck a deal with the previous CS Devendra Bhushan Gupta (IAS:1983:RJ) who was scheduled to retire on 30.09.2020. Under a quid pro arrangement, Gupta resigned in July as CS and was immediately made the adviser to the CM for a year, after which he may be rewarded with the top post in the state CIC. And Swarup stepped into the vacant post of CS. 

Swarup's closeness to the CM is said to have become the proverbial albatross around his neck. Besides, his role as the ACS home during the Gehlot-Pilot face-off had invited a lot of flak from the opposition BJP and Pilot's supporters.

Although Gehlot has moved the application to the Centre for its consent to extend the service of Swarup well in advance, nothing has reportedly happened. And since the PM is away to Gujarat, suspense has heightened in Jaipur and officials have begun to wonder whether Swarup would be able to get his dream come true.

Interestingly, BJP stalwarts in the state have also put their weight to favour and mar Swarup’s prospects. Normally, Centre does not deny State Govt's request but this time delay casts a shadow on Gehlot's image. Having talked to the top at Centre Gehlot still has a reason for hope and save his face.

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