Kolkata: In a surprise bureaucratic reshuffle amid Covid-19 pandemic, West Bengal government on Tuesday shunted the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Vivek Kumar on Tuesday. Narayan Swaroop Nigam has been named as his replacement, officials said.
Kumar has now been posted to the Environment Department as the Principal Secretary.
The move came as a surprise to the bureaucratic circle, which viewed Kumar as an efficient officer. Sources aware of the development told News18 that the state government was unhappy with Kumar's performance. Nigam, who was the Transport Secretary, has been appointed as Kumar's replacement, as per a notification dated May 11.
Meanwhile, BJP leader in-charge of Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya hit out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the government's decision and said that the responsibility of containing the Covid-19 situation rested with her.
“She is responsible for her failure (of handling Covid-19 pandemic situation in West Bengal) and now she is showing her ire at others. Mamataji please accept your failure,” Vijayvargiya said in a social media post.
Earlier, on April 16, the Bengal Food and Supplies Department secretary Manoj Agarwal was removed, amid allegations of ration card-holders not being provided with the full month’s allotment in one go.
Manoj Agarwal, a 1990-batch IAS officer, was replaced by PA Siddiqui, who had been serving as the Finance Department Secretary.
His removal came at a time when opposition leaders were raising the issue of a few ration dealers’ allegedly being involved in malpractices in the PDS allotment. The state has taken action against 272 ration dealers for their involvement in corrupt practices while distribution amid Covid-19 lockdown across the state.
Agarwal has been sent to compulsory waiting, but sources in the state secretariat claimed that it was a routine transfer.