Girija Vaidyanathan, Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Land Administration, has been appointed Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu in place of P. Rama Mohana Rao on Thursday, a day after income tax officials raided his house, office and other premises in connection with his alleged link with sand mining baron J Shekhar Reddy. Rao was removed from his post on Thursday.
This appointment came following the searches conducted by the Income Tax Department on Wednesday at the houses and chamber of Mr. Rao and many other places concerning him. The IT officials have seized Rs 30 lakhs in new currency, five kg of gold and documents that show a lot of undisclosed assets from the raids in premises associated with Rao.
Girija, a 1981 batch IAS officer, will also hold full additional charge of the post of the vigilance commissioner and the commissioner of administrative reforms held by Rao.
Chennai-bond Girja Vaidyananthan is the fourth women chief secretary of Tamil Nadu, after Lakshmi Pranesh, S Malathi and Sheela Balakrishnan. A physics graduate from Quaid-e-Millath Government College for Women, Chennai, Girija became the first among women and ninth among one lakh aspirants of civil services examination in 1981.
Ms.Vaidyanathan has been Commissioner of Land Administration since 2013. She was closely involved in the formulation of rules for the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. She was also helming the health and family welfare department during the last DMK government.