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AGMUT cadre feeling disappointed on losing its signature postings

By Rakesh Ranjan- 25 Nov 2021
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New Delhi (25.11.2021): Once upon a time the AGMUT cadre swayed over all the key bureaucratic portfolios in the national capital. But now the crunchy morsels are gone to officers from other cadres, and it is struggling to manage its self-esteem with the leftover. 

The trend is not very new. Nor did it begin months ago with the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police chief. On top of Asthana's appointment, what further hurt the pride of the AGMUT cadre was the central government's affidavit in the court that this was done as an exigency in the absence of eligible officers from the AGMUT cadre.

This testimony was considered and felt as disappointing, if not devastating, even though in the past such appointments did take place. In 1999, a non-AGMUT UP IPS Cadre officer Ajay Raj Sharma was made the Delhi Police chief and earlier a J&K cadre IAS officer had become Chief Secretary in the 1990s.

Apart from the post of Delhi Police chief, the AGMUT cadre has always considered the posts of chairman of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, Delhi RERA, and DDA Vice-Chairman as its turf.

However, it is on the backfoot now even on its exclusive domain.

Setting aside the claim of three senior UT cadre IAS officers/applicants in July this year, the administration picked up Justice Shabihul Hasnain 'Shastri', who had retired from the Allahabad High Court, as Chairperson of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Indianmandarins has learned that in line with the trend, the coveted Delhi RERA post may slip into the hands of a Kerala cadre IAS officer who has the backing of his two batchmates in influential position even though three IAS officers from the UT cadre and one from the UP cadre are seen as strong aspirants.

Such a scenario has made many senior AGMUT cadre officers lament that they have failed to receive even a word of sympathy let alone support from the Delhi LG who is a distinguished officer from the cadre known for his empathy and persistent goodwill for fellow cadre officials.  These officers also seem to have no hope from CM Arvind Kejriwal as they believe that his style of politics of perpetual confrontation with the center might have been one of the factors in the Union Government elbowing them out from key turf positions.

And the latest Mizoram incident has added to their disappointment verging on demoralization. Officers have seen in the Mizoram government's insistence on local language skill for holding the post of the state chief secretary and citing this as a plea for seeking replacement of the appointed 1988 batch AGMUT cadre IAS Renu Sharma a deliberate and politically-motivated blow to the deputation of its officers in the NE hill state. Contrary to this a section of senior bureaucrats say that Mizoram CS has always been a Mizo, whether from AGMUT Cadre or other cadres. 

Officers have also lost hope of getting prestigious appointments in the new UTs of J&K as well as Ladakh.

Since Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has never been the bastion of AGMUT cadre officers in the recent past, there is little hope among officers to get its Vice-Chairman post. The previous DDA VC (post presently vacant) was an MP cadre officer.

Posts of administrators of Daman, Lakhyadweep, and Chandigarh were manned by UT cadre officers, now manned by politicians.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

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