Sahwney quits advisor post to become SEC
Retired chief secretary Nilam Sahwney had quit the post of chief advisor to the chief minister on Friday, to take charge of the State Election Commissioner (SEC). Sahwney’s appointment was cleared by Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan on Thursday.
Present SEC, Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, would vacate the office on March 31, with his retirement. Sahwney likely to take charge on the same day or the next day.
Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had special liking for Sahwney, the first woman chief secretary of the state after bifurcation. She had handled the Covid crisis successfully and had coordinated the entire administration in dealing with the pandemic for one year. Recognising her hard work and administrative capabilities, the chief minister had appointed her as chief advisor attached to the chief minister’s office, immediately after her retirement.
Jagan Mohan Reddy had worst time with the SEC, currently headed by Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, particularly since March 2020. The state government had to fight tough battle with Ramesh Kumar all through the year from the state high court to the supreme court. Unfortunately, the government had lost most of the cases.
With the unhealthy relationship that he had with the SEC, the chief minister had now picked up this former bureaucrat anticipating healthy relationship. The SEC had to coordinate with the State government, particularly with the departments of Panchayat Raj and Municipal Administration, which are responsible for holding elections to the rural local bodies (RLBs) and the urban local bodies (ULBs).