Just two days ago, Somesh Kumar was lord of all he surveyed — at least in the bureaucratic realm in Telangana. As state chief secretary, he was at the apex.
But it seems that, apart from God, the courts can also turn things topsy turvy in no time.
On a petition by the Centre, the Telangana High Court quashed a Central Administrative Tribunal order that allowed Somesh Kumar to continue in the state after its bifurcation, even though he had been assigned to the Andhra Pradesh cadre.
And the court gave him no quarter, refusing to keep the order in abeyance till he filed an appeal. The Centre, too, showed immense alacrity in issuing him orders to report to his home cadre in just two days.
And so it was that, on Thursday, 12 January, the now former Telangana chief secretary landed at Gannavaram airport and proceeded by road to present himself before Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary KS Jawahar Reddy — a year his junior in the service — at the latter’s camp office in Vijayawada.
The 1989 batch officer and the 1990 batch officer then went to meet Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, travelling together in Jawahar Reddy’s official Innova. He will now await an order from the state assigning him a position commensurate with his rank.
With Somesh Kumar reporting for duty as ordered, all speculation that he may go on long leave, or avail the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) have been laid to rest.
But other kinds of speculation have arisen. Somesh Kumar had met with Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao soon after the Telangana High Court order. And the rumour mills have it that KCR persuaded him against challenging the order or going on leave. The suggestion is that KCR will have a role for Somesh Kumar to play as he charts out the expansion of the BRS into the neighbouring state. Let’s wait and see.