Telangana govt sacks 7 advisors appointed by BRS, including former chief secretary Somesh Kumar

The advisors included six retired officers and a former BRS MLA — all reportedly close to BRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao.

ByBhaskar Basava

Published Dec 09, 2023 | 7:16 PMUpdatedDec 09, 2023 | 7:16 PM

Somesh Kumar has been appointed chief advisor to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.

The Telangana government on Saturday, 9 December, rescinded the appointments of seven advisors to the previous BRS dispensation in the state.

These advisors included four retired IAS and IPS officers, one each from the Indian Economic Service (IES) and Indian Forest Service (IFS), and a former BRS MLA. All officers were reportedly close to BRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao.

While in the Opposition, the incumbent Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy had accused these officials, especially former chief secretary Somesh Kumar who took VRS and was appointed advisor to the chief minister, of colluding with the BRS and misusing funds.

Also Read: Telangana government appoints IPS Shivadhar Reddy, IAS V Seshadri, even as IPS Anurag Sharma resigns

The seven sacked advisors

Dr Rajiv Sharma, a 1982-batch IAS officer, was the first chief secretary of Telangana. He was the chief advisor to the government and the chairman of the Telangana State Pollution Control Board. Known for his proximity to KCR, he played a crucial role in handling the bifurcation issues and administrative affairs, including the creation of new districts.

Anurag Sharma, the first Telangana DGP and government advisor, resigned shortly after Revanth Reddy assumed charge. Appointed by KCR as advisor on police, law and order, and crime control after his retirement in 2017, Sharma’s tenure was extended in 2020.

The GO issues by the Congress led government rescinding the seven appointments.

The order issued by the government, ordering the removal of the advisors.

AK Khan, a 1981-batch IPS officer, became an advisor on minority affairs after his retirement in 2016. He had held various positions, including the Superintendent of Police in Nalgonda, Prakasham, and East Godavari, as well as Deputy Commissioner-West Zone, Hyderabad. Subsequently, he was promoted to the position of DG Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

GR Reddy from the IES served as an advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government during Kiran Kumar Reddy’s tenure and was appointed as an advisor on finance in 2014. He reportedly assisted KCR on issues related to the demand for a separate statehood.

R Shoba, a former officer with the Forest Department, served in various capacities and played a crucial role in obtaining forest clearances for the Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project. She became the first woman IFS officer in the state to head the Forest Force in 2019. After retiring in 2022, she was re-appointed as an advisor (forest affairs) by the state government.

Somesh Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer, was assigned to Andhra Pradesh in June 2014 after the state’s bifurcation, but remained in Telangana. He assumed the role of chief secretary in 2019, surpassing several senior officers.

He appealed to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to stay on in Telangana, and was allowed to do so. This decision was, however, contested in the Telangana High Court, which ruled against Somesh Kumar in January this year.

Subsequently, he reported to Andhra Pradesh, chose to avail the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).  A month after availing VRS, he was appointed as the chief advisor to chief minister KCR.

In August, KCR appointed Vemulawada BRS MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh as an advisor on agriculture to the state government with Cabinet minister rank for five years.

This was to assuage the MLA who was denied the BRS ticket due to a legal wrangle over his citizenship.