23 RAS Officers Previously Serving Ministers Placed on APO Following Gehlot Government’s Loss of Power

As of today, a total of 33 Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) officers are on Awaited Posting Orders (APO), and notably, 23 among them have prior experience serving as Special Assistants (SAs) or Officers on Special Duty (OSDs) to ministers in the previous government. The decision to put these 23 RAS officers on APO was made by the Department of Personnel (DoP) on December 5, following the change in power with the Gehlot government losing its mandate. Two of these officers were specifically assigned to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

The list of 23 RAS officers affected by the move includes names such as Devaram Saini, Mahipal Kumar, Deena Nath Babbal, Alok Kumar Saini, Suresh Bunkar, Dhirendra Yadav, Javed Ali, Rajesh Singh, Mahendra Sharma, Kailash Yadav, Laxmikant Balot, Jaiveer Singh, Brijendra Meena, Anurag Harit, Arvind Sarswat, Rakesh Gupta, Akash Tomar, Sanjay Sharma, Ashok Kumar, Vibhu Kaushik, Dhulichand Meena, Ashish Sharma, and Govardhan Lal Sharma.

Several of these RAS officers have longstanding associations with ministers, having served them for many years. One noteworthy instance involves a senior RAS officer from the 1997 batch, who served as OSD to a union minister and later as SA to two ministers in the state government. Another RAS officer served as SA to a minister in the previous Congress government and resumed a similar role when the Gehlot government returned to power in 2018. Some RAS officials are known to have taken over key departments previously under the purview of the ministers they served.

Currently, seven of the RAS officers on APO are reportedly making efforts to secure positions as SA or OSD to ministers in the new government. However, new guidelines stipulate that officials who have previously served with a minister will not be given another chance in the same capacity.

Among the remaining 10 RAS officers, Purushottam Sharma, recently shifted from DPR, and two others have been placed on APO due to the posting of IAS officials in their positions.

In addition to the RAS officers on APO, ten RAS officers are currently serving suspensions, including four officials who faced charges from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). Consequently, all 43 RAS officers, including those on APO and suspended, are drawing half their salary while at home.

Anticipation is high among the 26 APO officials and a similar number of RAS officers awaiting the transfer list, with hopes of being appointed as SA or OSD to ministers. However, reports suggest that this time, all postings to ministers’ offices will undergo thorough scrutiny and investigation before being finalized.

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