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Punjab govt shunts out chief secy 'close' to Amarinder

 Vini Mahajan

New Delhi: The Charanjit Singh Channi-led government in Punjab on Thursday shunted Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan and appointed Anirudh Tewari in her place.

Tewari is a 1990-batch Indian Administrative Service officer and is currently holding the position of the additional chief secretary development, ACS food processing, ACS horticulture and ACS governance reforms and public grievances.

Mahajan was appointed as the chief secretary last year during the Amarinder Singh-led regime and she was the first woman to hold this post.

She was considered close to Amarinder Singh.

The posting orders of Mahajan will be issued later, according to a government order issued on Thursday.

As per the order, Ravneet Kaur (1988 batch-IAS officer), Sanjay Kumar (1988-batch), V K Janjua (1989-batch) and Kripa Shankar Saroj (1989-batch) have been designated as special chief secretaries with immediate effect.

After the change of guard, it was certain that the top bureaucrats of the state would be replaced.

Speculation is also rife about replacing Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta.

Gupta is the husband of Mahajan.

On Tuesday, the Channi-led government had shifted nine IAS officers and two PCS officers.

Prior to that, it had replaced principal secretary and special principal secretary to the chief minister.

The Congress on Sunday had picked Charanjit Singh Channi as the leader of the state's Congress Legislative Party. He was sworn in as the chief minister on Monday.

Amarinder Singh had resigned as the chief minister on Saturday, after being locked in a bitter power tussle with Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.