Khandey was accorded a farewell at the Civil Secretariat. He did not attend office yesterday even though the state government has not taken a decision on his request for voluntary retirement yet.
Khandey had cited differences with the government over the frequent transfers and postings of senior officers and refusal of his request by the government to postpone a Cabinet meeting last month in wake of a death of his relative as the reasons for seeking voluntary retirement.
Four senior IAS officers Sonali Kumar, Khurshid Ganai, Arun Kumar and B R Sharma are in contention for the top post but Sharma has emerged as the front runner to replace Khandey as he functioned as the Cabinet Secretary during the Cabinet meeting held on August 21.
Sayeed yesterday returned after a nine day sabbatical. He had left the state on August 23, the day NSA level talks between India and Pakistan were canceled, on the advice of doctors who had asked the Chief Minister to take 'complete rest' to recover from 'exertion'.
The absence of the 79 year old Chief Minister had led to speculation that he was ill and keen on handing over the reigns of the state to his daughter and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti. Mehbooba, while dismissing the speculation about her father's health, said he had gone to Bengaluru to meet his son.



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