Aizawl: The Centre on Tuesday communicated to the Mizoram government over the appointment of the chief secretary, an official in the CMO said.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has verbally communicated to chief minister Zoramthanga over the phone from Delhi, the official told EastMojo on condition of anonymity.

He, however, refused to disclose contents of the communication about the appointment of chief secretary in Mizoram.

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The tussle between the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the CMO over the appointment of chief secretary ensued after New Delhi decided to transfer senior IAS officer of AGMUT cadre Renu Sharma as new chief secretary of Mizoram on October 28.

She was asked to take charge from November 1.

The same day the Mizoram government had appointed Manipur cadre IAS officer JC Ramthanga, who is currently posted as additional chief secretary to the CM, to take in charge of CS from November 1 until further order.

The official said that chief minister Zoramthanga had urged the Centre to appoint a person of his choice and suggested a Mizo IAS officer Ramthanga to replace incumbent Lalnunmawia Chuaungo much before Sharma was named by the Centre.

He alleged that the MHA has violated its guidelines for transfer and posting of IAS or IPS officer of joint AGMUT cadre as “para 9 of the guideline clearly mentions that chief secretary and the senior most police officer in a state may be decided with the approval of Union Home minister in consultation with chief minister of state concerned”.

The MHA guideline said that a panel of 3 names can be suggested to the chief minister of the state, who may convey their response with reasons thereof on the panel within a period of 15 days.

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After considering the response received from the chief minister, the MHA may issue the order for posting of chief secretary or administrator or DGP. “In case no response is received within a period of 15 days, the MHA may decide the matter at its own level,” the official said.

The official said also alleged that the MHA was overlooking and ignored the chief minister’s concern over the post being held by someone without knowledge of a working standard Mizo language.

He said that the chief minister named Ramthanga for the CS, which was ignored by the MHA.

Following the appointment of Sharma on October 28, Zoramthanga dashed off a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 29, as reported by EastMojo on Monday, urging him to modify the MHA order and accept his proposal for the appointment of the chief secretary.

In his letter, Zoramthanga said that he requested Ramthanga to replace Chuaungo after his retirement on October 31. The MHA, however, posted Renu Sharma as the new chief secretary, he said.

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Citing why Sharma is unsuitable for the position, the chief minister said the Mizoram people by and large generally don’t understand Hindi, and none of his cabinet ministers understands Hindi, some of them even can’t speak English.

“With such background, a chief secretary without knowledge of a working standard Mizo language will never be an effective and efficient chief secretary,” Zoramthanga said in the letter, adding the government of India never posted an IAS officer as a chief secretary who does not know the working standard of Mizo language since the creation of the state.

Zoramthanga also emphasized his party’s ties with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

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The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) headed by Zoramthanga is a constituent member of BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and tied up with the NDA. The party, however, does not work with the BJP in Mizoram, which has one MLA in the 40-member assembly.

“I have been an NDA partner from the beginning up to this time. While many of the states are changing themselves from one alliance group to another, I am the only one in the whole of the North-East states, who have been a faithful partner of the NDA team from the beginning up to this time. I, therefore, believe, that I deserve a special favour and consideration for the faithful friendship with NDA,” Zoramthanga wrote. 

He said that the proposal of chief secretary, which was given even to his predecessor Congress Chief Minister, if denied to him, the Congress party and all other opposition parties will make a mockery of him for faithfully serving the partnership of NDA.

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