Manjunatha Prasad to be Revenue Department’s Principal Secretary; DPAR to issue orders anytime
In an expected development, the Karnataka government is set to post 1990 batch IAS officer Gaurav Gupta as BBMP chief Commissioner from April 1. Gupta is currently BBMP Administrator, which is the highest post in Bengaluru’s civic agency. His new posting will be a step down, but the advantage will be that he will be able to wield the executive and financial powers which he could not as Administrator.
A government order to the effect is expected on March 31, as current BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad has requested Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to relieve him from his charge on medical grounds and also because he has given almost 4 years to the task of Bengaluru’s development.
Prasad is expected to take over as the Revenue Department’s Principal Secretary from April 1 as 1985 batch IAS officer Mahendra Jain, currently holding charge in the department as Additional Chief Secretary, will be retiring on March 31.
‘Prasad cited health’
Sources told TheBengaluruLive that Prasad had spoken directly to the Chief Minister requesting to be relieved from the post of BBMP Commissioner as he was unable to put in his maximum effort after recovering from Covid-19.
Prasad is known for getting along with political leaders irrespective of party affiliation, and is also popular with activists, tax payers and the media – qualities which have helped him complete his four-year tenure successfully. What is more, not a single MLA from Bengaluru has at any time lobbied for Manjunatha Prasad to be removed from BBMP.
It is a known fact that both Gaurav Gupta and Manjunatha Prasad are very close to Revenue Minister R Ashoka. The BJP leader has always wanted to be a dominant factor in Bengaluru politics, especially in BBMP, and with Prasad’s expected posting now has a chance to exercise control over both the Revenue Department and BBMP.
Gaurav Gupta has in the past worked with Ashoka as MD of KSRTC (August 2008-January 2012) when Ashoka was Transport Minister during 2008-13, and both are said to be on very good terms. For his part, Manjunatha Prasad has always kept good relations with MLAs of all parties in Bengaluru city, and besides is a classmate of Ashoka from their college days.
On the flip side, this new Ashoka-Gupta-Prasad equation may lead to rumblings among other BJP leaders in Bengaluru who have wanted a share of the ‘tech city’ pie.
Rakesh Singh’s new role
Meanwhile, sources in the Chief Minister’s Office said that Rakesh Singh, Additional Chief Secretary in the Urban Development Department, will hold concurrent charge as BBMP Administrator.
Also Read: Early signs portend an ‘IAS ego tussle’ in BBMP https://thebengalurulive.com/early-signs-portend-an-ias-ego-tussle-in-bbmp/