Srinagar, August 26: As per reports in a local daily, J&K Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khanday is preparing for his voluntary retirement which was otherwise scheduled in November and documents for the same would be submitted before the State Government in a day or two.
An IAS officer of the 1978 batch, Iqbal Khanday was appointed as Chief Secretary on February 18, 2013 during the National Conference-Congress ruling alliance headed by Omar Abdullah.
He wrote a letter to the CM where he expressed his desire to be relieved with immediate effect when there are still three months of his service left which he wanted to be considered as leave. Khandey also wrote that he has no moral right to continue as “the government doesn’t trust him.”
According to the sources, the reason of Khandey’s early retirement is that he felt offended after he was sidelined on some critical aspects of decision making since the PDP-BJP alliance came to power.
Sources said that it started happening in July when Iqbal Khandey declined to give clearance for the appointment of few members in Public Service Commission without requisite scrutiny of their character and conduct. The reason of Khandey’s reluctance was the shady past of these members.
But Khanday’s resistance was snubbed by some of the ministers who warned him that cases already registered against him in various courts within and outside the state including Chandigarh would be reopened and he would be put to serious trial.
They said there after even though Khanday did not take cudgels with the government, the Cabinet meeting held on August 21 proved disastrous. “Khanday was asked not to poke his nose into any of the transfers even for the sake of advice. This was a major embarrassment for the Chief Secretary and he tactfully skipped the meet,” sources said.
It was later clarified that the chief secretary could not attend because of a death in the family, and that his request for postponement was turned down.
The second senior-most IAS officer in the state, BR Sharma, is likely to replace Khandey as the new chief secretary.