HomeBureaucracyAppointmentsBeing superseded twice, Sujata Saunik finally becomes CS 

Being superseded twice, Sujata Saunik finally becomes CS 

Sujata Saunik, who created history by becoming the first woman chief secretary of Maharashtra was superseded twice - once by her own husband Manoj Saunik.

It's a motivation for IAS officers who get superseded and their juniors become chief secretary. Sujata Saunik, the newly chief secretary of Maharashtra, felt this pain twice. But she didn't lose hope and finally created history by becoming the first woman chief secretary of Maharashtra. 

 “The significance of this moment is not lost on me,” she said. “However, at this point, I would like to remember all the lady IAS officers who were very deserving of the chief secretary's post but were not considered for various reasons. I am grateful for this opportunity and I will do my best,” Saunik said.

How Sujata Saunik was superseded?

Sujata Saunik, a 1987 batch was the seniormost IAS officer in April 2023 and should have become the CS then but CM Eknath Shinde chose to appoint her husband, Manoj Saunik instead, who was also form the same batch. 

Later, Manoj Saunik retired in December 2023 creating another opportunity for Sujata to create history. But the she was superseded the second time when Nitin Kareer was made the CS in January this year. Kareer was a 1988-batch IAS officer – a batch junior to her.  

Sujata, however, preferred to work under junior and was serving as additional chief secretary home and general administration. 

In March 2023, when Nitin Kareer was scheduled to retire, the government promised to make her chief secretary. The code of conduct for the polls was already in force and the file was sent to the Election of India. The state, in response to the ECI's request for three names, recommended Saunik, former municipal commissioner I S Chahal and ACS (revenue) Rajesh Kumar.

Again, Saunik's name was not chosen, as her husband was an advisor to the CM. Chahal, who worked in the CMO, and Rajesh Kumar, whose mother-in-law Jaskaur Meena was then a BJP MP from Dausa, also missed out. Finally, Kareer was given a three-month extension onlymaking the waiting time longer for Sujata. 

The new CS hails from a bureaucratic family

Saunik belongs to a family of bureaucrats. Apart from her husband, her father C D Cheema was in the IAS and worked as Election Commissioner of after his retirement. Her brother, Gautam Cheema, is an additional DG in the Punjab police. Two of her aunts were also in the IAS: Asha Atri in Punjab and Rani Jadhav, who retired as chairperson of the Mumbai Port Authority. Her uncle A K D Jadhav was additional chief secretary (home) in Maharashtra. Her maternal grandfather Kartar Singh was secretary to the union government and another uncle Pradeep Singh was in the Indian Foreign Service.

The BuckStopper Reporter
The BuckStopper Reporterhttps://www.thebuckstopper.com
The BuckStopper, run by a group of seasoned journalists, holds the powerful accountable. The buck stops with them, as they cannot shrug off their official responsibilities.
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