Maharashtra government seeks extension for chief secretary

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Manukumar Srivastava of 1986 batch, Additional Chief Secretary (PWD) Manoj Saunik and his wife, Additional Chief Secretary (General Administration) Sujata Saunik of 1987 batch, were being considered as front-runners for the top bureaucratic post in the state.

The state government has recommended an extension of tenure for Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, who is slated to retire on November 30. A 1985-batch IAS officer, Kunte, had taken over from Sanjay Kumar. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Manukumar Srivastava of 1986 batch, Additional Chief Secretary (PWD) Manoj Saunik and his wife, Additional Chief Secretary (General Administration) Sujata Saunik of 1987 batch, were being considered as front-runners for the top bureaucratic post in the state.

Kunte is said to have managed the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic quite well. Sources said that he shares a good equation with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, although certain NCP ministers are not in his favour. The NCP boss, Sharad Pawar, though, does not seem to have a problem with him. With the threat of a third wave looming large over the state, the CM, sources said, wants to give Kunte an extension.

A top leader in the BJP said that the extension will be okayed by the department of personnel and training only if Thackeray personally speaks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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