'Faux pas' costs House secretary an extension

Speaker 'irked' with officer for failing to tell him about Vidhan Sabha rules

The recently retired Delhi Vidhan Sabha Secretary P N Mishra might just have got an extension in the coveted post had it not been an alleged faux pas he made during the Assembly session when AAP was briefly in power.

The then newly-elected Speaker M S Dhir was reportedly irked with the Secretary for “not informing” him about the rules of the House, during the discussion on Jan Lokpal Bill.

Sources said Mishra, who retired last   month, had sought an extension of his services but Dhir turned down the suggestion. He is out of the reckoning for the post for which four other officials are now said to be in the running.

On February 13, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party – which together outnumbered the Aam Aadmi Party members – invoked the rules and briefly suspended the powers of the Speaker through a voice vote.

This was a first in the history of Delhi Assembly – and it stopped Dhir from expelling certain members.  The Speaker was then left with no but to adjourn the proceedings that day.

Four IAS officials are now in the race for the post: former PWD Secretary Sudhir Mahajan, Additional Secretary (Finance) Alka Diwan, Special Secretary (Planning Department) B K Sharma and Special Secretary (Services) Kailash Chandra.

Candidature of Puja Joshi, former Joint Secretary to Chief Minister, has also been turned down due to her lack of  experience.

“Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar Srivastava has sent the file, suggesting names for the new Vidhan Sabha Secretary to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. Now Jung will have to finalise a name for the post,” said a senior Delhi government official.

The new appointment is likely to take place after the results of parliamentary elections on May 16.

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