10 days, 3 chief secys
Madhya Pradesh has got its third chief secretary in 10 days. In one of the initial orders of the new dispensation, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday appointed IAS officer Iqbal Singh Bains as the new chief secretary. Bains, a 1985 batch IAS officer, is considered close to Chouhan. Just days before, on March 16, the earlier Kamal Nath government had appointed senior IAS officer M Gopal Reddy (also 1985 batch) the new chief secretary of the state. Reddy replaced S R Mohanty (1982 batch), who is now the director general of RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration, the nodal training institute for senior officers of the MP government, the government of India and public sector undertakings. With this move, the new chief minister has also indicated that an administrative reshuffle in the state is on the cards.
Politics at time of pandemic
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (pictured) smelled a rat after the Election Commission postponed the Rajya Sabha polls. There were many in the opposition parties who wanted not just the Parliament session, which was held on Monday, curtailed, but also the Rajya Sabha polls postponed. On Tuesday, the Election Commission said it was postponing the polls indefinitely in view of the spread of coronavirus. Of the 55 seats in 17 states falling vacant in the first week of April, 37 in 10 states have been filled because candidates were elected unopposed. For the rest of the seats, the election was scheduled for March 26, which has now been deferred. Questioning the move, Gehlot tweeted, "The decision to defer the RS elections definitely comes under the scanner as the BJP has not been able to succeed in horse trading in Gujarat and Rajasthan. They want some more time. Sad day for democracy." The Congress is worried that some of its legislators in Gujarat might vote for the BJP candidates.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) President Mayawati has expressed concern over the general lockdown in the country, including Uttar Pradesh, throwing normal life out of gear. She said the livelihood of tens of millions of the poor and daily wage-earners was at stake and that they would be pushed towards starvation. She urged the central and state governments to provide urgent relief to these people. Mayawati also called upon the affluent among the BSP supporters to help the needy. On his part, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav in a tweet requested mobile phone companies to offer free or subsidised services to the poor since their earning capacity had been severely impaired.