Revanth govt’s frequent transfer of bureaucrats hinders administration in Telangana

In recent months, Telangana has seen a flurry of transfers among its top bureaucrats. These frequent shufflings have raised concerns among All India Service officers and the public. The Rachakonda Police Commissionerate has seen four new commissioners in seven months after the Congress came to power.

The reshuffle on December 13, 2023, saw the Revanth government replace Rachakonda Commissioner DS Chauhan with G. Sudheer Babu, only to transfer him two months later and appoint Tarun Joshi as Commissioner. Four months after that, G. Sudheer Babu was reinstated, marking the fourth commissioner in seven months for the Rachakonda Commissionerate.

These frequent changes are not limited to one department. Since Revanth Reddy, who has no prior administrative experience, assumed leadership of the state, the frequency of IAS and IPS officer transfers has increased dramatically. Many feel the governance of the state has turned into a game of musical chairs.

It is customary to keep senior officers in one posting for at least 2-3 years to ensure stability and allow them to perform effectively. However, under Revanth’s leadership, many officers are being transferred every 2-3 months, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and instability. 

This has resulted in accusations that officials are not taking their work seriously, knowing they might be transferred at any moment. Consequently, the state’s governance appears to be faltering.

Some of the frequent high-profile transfers in the last seven months include:

  • IPS officer AV Ranganath: Transferred five times in the last seven months. Initially Warangal Police Commissioner in November, he was placed in VR during polling, then became Hyderabad City Crime Joint Commissioner in December. Later, he was made Multi Zone-1 IG in March, and was recently appointed as Commissioner of the newly established enforcement department in Hyderabad.
  • Senior IAS officer Rizvi: Held the position of Principal Secretary of the Health Department until December. Post-Revanth’s government formation, he got appointed as Principal Secretary of the Power Department and has now been reassigned as Principal Secretary of the Commercial Taxes Department.
  • Korem Ashok Reddy: Changed positions three times in six months, from State Public Relations Commissioner and Special Secretary in December to State Horticulture Director in March, and now to MD of Hyderabad Metro Water Board.
  • Pamela Satpathy: Reinstated as Collector of Karimnagar after a brief tenure as Director of the State Municipal Administration Department, then transferred again, and now back as Karimnagar Collector.
  • EV Narsimha Reddy: Moved from MD of TSIIC to Director of Tribal Welfare, and now to Director of School Education.
  • Mallaya Bhattu: Initially Secretary of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule BC Welfare Gurukul Educational Institutions Society, then transferred during a crucial period to various roles, and recently sent back to the BC Welfare Department.
  • Dasari Harichandana: Appointed as CDMA in December 2023, then Nalgonda Collector in January 2024, and recently posted as R&B Secretary.

Critics argue that these frequent transfers are a sign of Revanth’s inexperience and distrust, resulting in a lack of continuity and stability in governance.