The Haryana government on Monday transferred senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka, his 56th posting in a career spanning about 30 years. Four Haryana Civil Service officers were also transferred with immediate effect in the shuffle.

Mr Khemka, Additional Chief Secretary at the Science and Technology Department, has now been posted as Additional Chief Secretary, Archives Department, said an official statement.

The statement did not mention any specific reasons for the transfers.

According to sources, Mr Khemka's transfer comes days after he wrote to Haryana Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal, indicating that he didn't have enough work following the merger of his Science and Technology Department into the Higher Education Department.

The IAS officer's career has been marked by controversies and frequent transfers. His last new posting was in October 2021.

The 1991-batch Haryana cadre Indian Administrative Service officer stirred a row in 2012 when he cancelled the mutation of a Gurugram land deal linked to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra. Mutation is part of the process to transfer ownership of a piece of land.

During the past decade, he has been posted in departments often seen as unimportant. Over his entire career, on average, he has been transferred about every six months.

This is the fourth time that Khemka has been posted to the state's Archives Department -- three of these stints were during the tenure of the BJP-led government in the state.

He has earlier served as Director General and later Principal Secretary of the Archives department. Khemka was first transferred to the department in 2013 when the Congress was in power in Haryana.

Sources said in his recent letter to the chief secretary, he indicated that the workload earlier in the Science and Technology Department "was not more than 2-3 hours per week".

"It is suggested that an officer of the rank of ACS may be assigned department(s) with total workload of at least 40 hours a week," the letter said.

"If there is no sufficient workload for cadre officers, non-cadre officers may be removed from Administrative Secretaries and repatriated to their own Departments," he wrote, according to sources.

Mr Khemka has in the past indicated some disappointment over having been "left behind" in his career.

After a round of promotions last October, he tweeted, "Congratulations to my batchmates newly appointed as Secretaries to GOI! While this is an occasion for merry, it brings equal measure of despondency for one's own self having been left behind." "Straight trees are always cut first. No regrets. With renewed resolve, I shall persist," he added.

The HCS officers transferred in the same reshuffle include Manav Malik, Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) at Radaur, who has now been posted as Inquiry Officer with the State Agricultural Marketing Board.

Amit Kumar, Joint Director (Administration), Tourism was posted as Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Radaur. Mayank Bhardwaj, Estate Officer, Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran, Kaithal and Kurukshetra is now City Magistrate, Rewari.

Devendra Sharma, City Magistrate, Rewari has become Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) in Kalayat.

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