Chandigarh March 16:
Karan Avtar Singh, a 1984-batch IAS officer, will be the new chief secretary in the Capt Amarinder Singh government of Punjab that will be in place on March 16. Now an additional chief secretary, Karan Avtar has pipped several senior claimants to the post, including Navreet Singh Kang (1983 batch), Himmat Singh (1980), Anjali Chib Duggal (1981) and batchmate Karan Bir Singh Sidhu.
The replacement of incumbent CS Sarvesh Kaushal, who belongs to the 1982 batch, was among the first things on the new regime’s mind. Kaushal had earned the ire of Amarinder, who had even written against him to the Election Commission during the just-concluded elections and demanded that he be replaced.
KBS Sidhu was among the first officers to reach Amarinder’s Chandigarh residence after the Congress was heading towards a majority in the assembly on March 11. But the CM-designate has opted for Karan Avtar as he can have a longer stint as chief secretary. NS Kang, who is currently on central deputation, is due to retire in April next year while Karan Avtar’s retirement is due in 2020.