HomeBureaucracyWhy former CM Gehlot says CS Pant is defacto CM?

Why former CM Gehlot says CS Pant is defacto CM?

It seems the fact that Gehlot didn’t value chief secretary Pant much when he was serving during his tenure, is haunting Gehlot

Ruffled by the introduction of and punctuality in administration, former chief Ashok Gehlot targeted chief secretary Sudhansh Pant at the ‘house warming' of his new bungalow. 

He said that there is no government in for the past two and half months. 

“Chief secretary Sudhansh Pant is the defacto chief minister. Bhajan Lal Sharma has no say in governance,” he said.

Gehlot said that neither chief minister Bhajan Lal Sharma has any power nor any of his cabinet colleague. 

“One of the deputy chief minister is more powerful than the chief minister Bhajan Lal Sharma,” Gehlot said hinting at deputy chief minister Diya Kumari, who is seen  in action more than anyone else. 

Gehlot said that ministers don't even have power to appoint special assistant of their choice. 

has done well by inducting new faces in the cabinet. But the government is being run at the will of Modi,” he said.

Why Gehlot is perturbed?

It's natural that Ashok Gehlot is targeting Sudhansh Pant who is trying to bring transparency, accountability and punctuality in bureaucracy.

“During Congress government, Pant was sidelined. Knowing the capabilities of Pant, it's anybody's guess that the officer was deliberately tortured,” said a senior IAS officer.

Sudhansh Pant returned from central deputation on December 27, 2019. He was kept on APO till February 11, 2020. Then he was appointed as principal secretary forest and environment. After one and half month, he went to union health ministry on temporary basis handle Covid crisis and came back to Rajasthan on January 14, 2021. He was then appointed as additional chief secretary PHED and stayed there for more than a year till April 4, 2022. 

According to sources, he was not in sync with PHED minister Mahesh Joshi. So he was transferred to chairman pollution control board and within four months he was again transferred to HCM RIPA as director general. Perturbed with frequent transfers and not getting along with the Congress government, Pant decided to again go for central deputation and he was relieved from Rajasthan in November 2022.

Pant came back as chief secretary 

After Gehlot government voted out of power, Pant came back to Rajasthan as chief secretary. Within two months, he has shown his efficiency and capabilities, which Gehlot failed to utilise when Pant was serving in his government.

“This is perhaps haunting Gehlot. That's why he is targeting Sudhansh Pant. Gehlot always knew that Pant is a capable officer. In Gehlot's first term Pant had served as Jaipur Collector and then commissioner in the second term. But in his third term, Gehlot could not give him suitable postings due to political compulsions,” said a senior IAS officer.  

Prakash Bhandari
Prakash Bhandarihttps://www.thebuckstopper.com/
Prakash Bhandari is a veteran journalist with over 50 years of experience. He has worked with The Times of India for 30 years and contributed to leading publications as well as international news agency AFP.
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