Latecomer chief secy runs up stairs to avoid media glare

Latecomer chief secy runs up stairs to avoid media glare

Chief Secretary Arvind Jadhav, who heads the entire bureaucracy in Karnataka, made a spectacle of himself by trying to avoid media queries at the Vidhana Soudha on Friday.

The top bureaucrat’s reaction was so extreme that he literally ran up two flights of stairs and shut himself in his office on the third floor, all in a bid to avoid any form of media scrutiny.

His unusual behaviour didn’t just leave the journalists bewildered, but also attracted attention to the office of chief secretary. He came under media glare following the abrupt ending of a meeting of a parliamentary committee headed by the Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, M Thambidurai.

The committee, which has been touring various states, is in Karnataka to review how funds under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) are being utilised. Jadhav, who was supposed to attend the meeting, arrived a little late.

While an MP who attended the meeting said the chief secretary was pulled up for late arrival, another parliamentarian defended Jadhav, saying he was busy attending a court case. But the meeting is said to have lasted for just 15 minutes.

Jadhav, who had just arrived at the scene, was seen profusely apologising to the members. He not only followed them down to the gates of the Vidhana Soudha, but also pursued them to a private hotel where they were put up. The meeting was not reconvened.

The meeting was scheduled between 2.30 pm and 4 pm. Mallikarjun Kharge, K H Muniyappa, Prakash Hukkeri and other MPs were in attendance.

‘CM’s notice’
When contacted, Muniyappa, Kolar MP and a former Union minister, said he would bring the matter to the notice of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “No matter how busy the chief secretary was, he should have made it a point to arrive at the meeting on time. This is an important committee. Ironically, even the presiding officers of the Legislative Assembly and Council were not there to welcome the Deputy Speaker Thambidurai,” he said. “This has set a wrong precedent.”

Hukkeri, however, said the chief secretary had informed the meeting that he would be attending a court case and hence would not be able to make it. “Jadhav had made arrangements for the meeting, including lunch. Other officers were present,” he added.

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