Girija Vaidyanathan the senior most IAS officer in Tamil Nadu was on Thursday appointed chief secretary of the state. The decision was taken after Ram Mohan Rao was suspended following the IT raids that took place at his residence and office.
Girija a 1981 batch officer was in fact superseded to make way for the appointment of Rao as chief secretary a 1985 batch officer. Girija who is also the sister-in-law of BJP leader and actor S V Shekhar is well revered in Tamil Nadu political circles.
Questions are now being asked if her being related to Shekhar had anything to do with her appointment. Many say that it is a mere coincidence. Shekhar who was an MLA with the AIADMK quit the party to join the BJP in 2013. Shekhar is also an actor by profession.
Observers in Tamil Nadu says that she is well respected by leaders of both the AIADMK as well as the DMK. In fact when Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister of the state, he had even attended her son's wedding.
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Girija who hails from Thanjavur which is incidentally the home town of Sasikala Natarajan was chosen due to her seniority. When Rao was appointed as the chief secretary many questions were asked as to why Girija had been superseded. In fact, Rao was handpicked by Jayalalithaa. Rao who was the secretary to the Chief Minister was made the chief secretary of the state in June 2016.
Following the raids that were conducted at Rao's residence and office, the Tamil Nadu Cabinet went into a huddle. At first no decision was taken to replace the chief secretary. It was decided that a decision would be taken once an FIR is filed. However with more raids taking place, the Cabinet as per the advise of Sheela Balakrishnan, the advisor to the Tamil Nadu government decided to appoint Girija as the chief secretary. Incidentally Tamil Nadu happens to be the only state to have an advisor to the government. The post was specifically created by late Jayalalithaa for Sheela Balakrishnan after she retired as the chief secretary of the state.