Bengaluru: In what is being perceived as ceding to “power play”, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday removed IAS officer Rakesh Singh as Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) commissioner. N Manjula from the 2002 IAS batch will replace him; she will be the second woman commissioner to head the authority. The first was Lakshmi Venkatachalam, who held charge between 1995-1999. Considered close to water resources minister DK Shivakumar and the JD(S) first family, Singh’s continued presence as the BDA chief had created tension between the chairman of the authority, Congress MLA ST Somashekar, and CM Kumaraswamy.Somashekar along with Byrathi brothers, Basavaraju and Suresh, had created a parallel power centre in Bengaluru and had taken on the CM for having Singh as the commissioner. Singh will continue to hold the post of principal secretary for water resources department under minister Shivakumar and hold concurrent charge of medical education department under minister E Tukaram. While Singh’s transfer out of the BDA may be a small victory, the appointment of Manjula may not work in favour of Somashekar and the Bengaluru coterie of MLAs. The young IAS officer, who served as the tourism and municipal administration commissioner previously, is known for her straight-forward and no-nonsense attitude. Meanwhile, in other major reshuffles, the government has transferred additional chief secretary (ACS) for urban development department (UDD) Mahendra Jain to energy department and also placed him in concurrent charge of higher education. P Ravi Kumar, incumbent ACS (energy), has been posted as ACS to the government. BH Anil Kumar will be the new ACS for UDD and also hold concurrent charge of food and civil supplies department. Yet another high profile transfer is that of Priyanka Mary Francis, who was posted as Hassan deputy commissioner during Lok Sabha elections by the Election Commission. While Francis was shunted out soon after polls, she had been waiting for a posting. She will now be the new director for information technology and biotechnology.
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