Chief Secy goes on month-long leave;AK Basu takes charge

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Ranchi, Feb 25 (UNI) In what may be termed as buying time to dodge a controversy involving top officers--Chief Secretary P P Sharma and IG (CID) Amitabh Choudhary--Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda today said the former had gone on a month long leave.

Director General of Administrative Training Institute A K Basu has been given the additional charge of manning the top bureaucratic chair in the state.

Mr Koda told reporters here before attanding a cabinet meeting that there was no pressure from any side and the latest development followed the chief secretary's decision to go on long leave.

For the past three weeks the two officers' rivalry came to the fore and they did not hesitate to wash dirty linen in public to tarnish each other through the media.

Mr Choudhary, also the president of Jharkhand State Cricket Association, had recommended criminal proceedings against Mr Sharma for 'concealing' facts regarding a criminal case pending against him and several acts of ommissions and commissions during his tenure as state health secretary.

But Mr Sharma claimed that no case was pending against him.

The matter almost snowalled into a crisis when a few of the chief ministrer's colleagues put pressure on him to remove the chief secretary and even threatened not to attend the cabinet meeting.

At the same time the Home department was understood to have sent a letter to Mr Koda seeking suspension of the IG for alleged indecency but the chief minister today maintained that he was yet to receive the letter.

UNI PRS PL RN1854

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