Ranchi, Jan. 20: Governor Syed Ahmed today officially took charge of the state admini- stration after imposition of President's Rule in Jharkhand, with a clear message to officials ' embrace chusti (diligence) or face the music.
During a brief meeting with the bureaucratic top brass at Project Building, the seat of power in Jharkhand, the governor also told the officials to maintain punctuality, reach office on time and attend public works.
"The governor ordered the officials to maintain punctuality. He also warned them to keep away from corrupt practices and avoid mistakes. Anjane mein kiye gaye galti ko maaf kiya ja sakta hai. Jaan bujh kar kiye gaye galti maaf nahin hogi (If you make a mistake unintentionally, it can be pardoned. But, if it is done knowingly, there will be no reprieve)," a senior bureaucrat told The Telegraph, quoting the governor.
Ahmed, he said, recited an Urdu poem to convey his message to the officials.
After the meeting, the governor told newsmen, "Today was my first day and I wanted to know my officials. Hence, the meeting was more of an introduction. In the coming days, I will be talking to everyone and will set the priorities of the new administration."
President's Rule was enforced in the state two days ago after efforts to form an alternative government did not bear fruits following the JMM's withdrawal of support to the BJP-led Arjun Munda regime on January 8.
Earlier today, Ahmed, who was escorted by principal secretary to Raj Bhavan Aditya Swaroop, arrived at Project Building at 11.27am, passing through Birsa Raj Marg from Governor's House, about 14km away.
Chief secretary S.K. Choudhary and director-general of police G.S. Rath were waiting with bouquets at the portico of Project Building.
A Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) band, too, was at the spot to welcome the new boss of the secretariat.
After a guard of honour by JAP personnel, the governor headed straight to the chamber of the chief minister on the first floor. The nameplate outside the chamber, which earlier bore the name of former chief minister Arjun Munda, now was replaced with Ahmed's.
The nameplate of D.K. Tiwari, principal secretary of the CM, too had been altered with that of Swaroop.
Around 11.45am, the governor started holding the meeting with bureaucrats that lasted barely half an hour.
Nearly all top officials, including secretaries S.K. Satpathy (rural works), A.K. Singh (agriculture), Sudhir Prasad (drinking water and sanitation), J.B. Tubid (home), Nitin Madan Kulkarni (urban development), A.P. Singh (industry), Mridula Sinha (social welfare), Rajiv Arun Ekka (panchayati raj), L. Khiangte (welfare) and Sajal Chakraborty (civil aviation), were in attendance.
Chief secretary Choudhary told the governor they were preparing the state's 2013-14 budget proposal.
"As Jharkhand is under President's Rule, Parliament has to clear the budget. Hence, it has to be prepared soon. Also, we have to speed up utilisation of funds for the current fiscal," Choudhary told bureaucrats during the meeting.
Raj Bhavan has notably appointed two advisers ' former Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta and former director-general of CRPF K. Vijay Kumar ' who will be a part of Ahmed's team in the next two days.