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All Eyes On Odisha’s New Chief Secretary Manoj Ahuja

In the earlier regime, the mindless interference by Naveen Patnaik’s private secretary VK Pandian upset not only the bureaucrats but even politicians across the party lines. Putting an end to that unilateral style of management the new BJP government in Odisha headed by Mohan Charan Majhi is ensuring a high degree of professionalism. For starters it has started making changes at the top by appointing Manoj Ahuja, a 1990 batch Odisha cadre IAS officer, as the Chief Secretary. Sources say that Ahuja has been selected because leadership at the highest level have reposed faith in him for his administrative acumen and rich experience across the departments. He was the former Secretary of the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Secretary of Steel & Mines, Food, Supplies & Consumer Welfare and Commissioner of Commercial taxes. All these experiences will help him to fast track numerous administrative issues, and ensure that the common man can feel the difference. It may be recalled that the PM in his election campaign has promised to make Odisha No 1 state and Ahuja needs to ensure the entire bureaucracy is in sync to work towards that goal. Now, with absolute majority, BJP cannot pin blame on BJD.  Ahuja will retire on December 31, 2024 and there are strong indications that he, like the former two secretaries, will get an extension.