Reshuffle of portfolios soon
JAMMU, Nov 5: To further streamline functioning of administration, State Governor Satya Pal Malik today appointed his fourth Advisor – Kewal Krishan Sharma, who is a 1983 batch AGMUT Cadre IAS officer hailing from the border State and has held several important assignments across the country.
Reliable sources stated, “the appointment of fourth Advisor clearly indicates that Union Government wants to continue with Governor’s Rule in the State and is likely to be converted into President’s Rule after December 20, as envisaged under the provision of Section 92 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, but only after the consent of the President of India”.
The Governor is presently having three Advisors – all of whom are former bureaucrats — B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ganai, who are handling most of the Government Departments. With induction of another Advisor, the Governor is likely to order a reshuffle of portfolios soon.
“For the past some time, there were speculations of a new Advisor being appointed as the State administration was feeling need for another member to deliver better governance and several names were also discussed in the meeting of Governor with Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on October 10”, sources asserted.
“There is also a strong possibility of one of the present Advisors opting for a different assignment in New Delhi, after K K Sharma gets settled in his new role. But, these changes are likely to take place only after conclusion of the nine-phased Panchayat elections, which will start on November 19 and conclude on December 11 this year”, sources asserted.
Sources stated, “K K Sharma, who belongs to Billawar town of Kathua district had stayed for nearly 30 years outside the State and had last served as Secretary, Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry before his retirement”, adding, “Mr Sharma who is presently living in Delhi had visited the State on several occasions during his last assignments and held regular interactions with bureaucrats across the State”.
K K Sharma, a 1983 batch AGMUT-cadre IAS officer held various posts including the post of Secretary PWD during 2009 and was then promoted as Principal Secretary PWD. He remained on the post till April 2011. From 2011 to 2014, he served as Advisor to the Administrator of Chandigarh in an Additional Secretary-rank position. After that, he came to Union Ministry of Child and Women Development on Central deputation and joined as Chief Secretary of Goa on January 1, 2015. He was appointed Delhi Chief Secretary on March 3, 2015.
Sharma had played key role in implementing flagship projects of Aam Aadmi Party Government in Delhi in the areas of Education and Health.
Due to tug of war between Arvind Kejriwal Government and Narendra Modi dispensation, the Centre on November 24, 2016 removed the then Chief Secretary Kewal Kumar Sharma and named him as Secretary in the Department of Higher Education in Union HRD Ministry.
Sharma will be first Advisor to be appointed by present Governor, Satya Pal Malik after assuming the gubernatorial post on August 22 this year. The other three Advisors – B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ganai had been appointed by former Governor N N Vohra after the imposition of Governor Rule in the State on June 20 and his successor – Malik continued with them.
Sources said, “Sharma will also be first person from Jammu region to be appointed as Advisor, while Khurshid Ganai belongs to Kashmir province”.