Chhattisgarh’s top bureaucrat mired in graft charges


Raipur : Chhattisgarh’s senior-most Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer B.K.S. Ray, the top contender for the chief secretary’s post to be filled by Thursday, is facing a tough time after a person accused him of taking money in lieu of getting a candidate selected among the top 100 rank of the Pre-Medical Test.

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Ray is chairman of the Chhattisgarh Professional Examination Board. The corruption charges can spoil his chances of succeeding Chief Secretary Shivraj Singh, who retires Thursday.

Ajay Agrawal, a resident of Kawardha district, has written to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan alleging that Ray sought Rs.2 million from his doctor friend to ensure that his son gets a position within the 100 ranking in the PMT exam.

Ray, IAS officer of the 1972 batch, has rubbished the allegations and dared the man to substantiate his charge.

The police have stepped into the matter now. The state government faces a tricky situation whether to select Ray or Additional Chief Secretary P. Joy Oommen for the state’s top bureaucratic post.

Ray has sought an immediate narco test on Agrawal for bringing up a “cooked up story”.

He has the reputation of being an IAS officer with a clean image in his over three-decade-long stint in the state and when it was part of undivided Madhya Pradesh.

Upset by the charges, Ray has dashed off a letter to the outgoing chief secretary and the state police chief asking for a probe into the allegation. However, sources say he is most likely to concede the chief secretary’s post to Oommen, an IAS officer of the 1977 batch, in the backdrop of the graft charges.

Ray called an emergency meeting Monday of the Chhattisgarh IAS Association in his capacity as chief of the body. He got the support of about 30 IAS officers. A majority of them felt the “charges brought against Ray were aimed to dent his image and stop him becoming chief secretary”.