KOLKATA: A major overhaul of the chief minister’s office – that forms the core of the government functioning – is in the offing. And the changes are already beginning to take concrete form.

On Tuesday, an IAS officer and four WBCS officers were transferred out of the CMO. Some of them have already joined the state personnel and administrative reforms (PAR) department, and others are in compulsory waiting. Interestingly, the overhaul might also bring back Nazrul Islam – one of the most controversial IPS officers in the Left regime.

Islam, a 1981 batch IPS officer of the Bengal cadre, is now serving as Executive Director (security), Railway Protection Force, in New Delhi. Islam had earlier worked as the city police’s detective chief and was later shunted out as the IG (Enforcement Branch) after he began to openly criticize the Left Front government.

When Mamata Banerjee became the railway minister, Islam got a posting in her office and it is during his tenure there that he is said to have become her trusted officer. After May 13, when the Assembly election results were out, Banerjee is said to have planned to bring him back in the state in an important posting. A day after taking oath, the state home department has already sent a letter to the Centre seeking immediate release of Nazrul Islam from his present posting.

Sources hinted that Islam, who is now in additional director general rank, will either replace A K Maliwal – director (securities) – or may be inducted directly in the chief minister’s office as an adviser. In that case, it will be a new post created for him and he will play a crucial role in police administration. Islam was present at Raj Bhavan during the swearing-in ceremony of the new government and also went to Writers’ Buildings after that. Islam did not rule out chances of his return to Bengal.

On Tuesday, D P Banerjee, joint secretary, Syed Nasiruddin, special secretary, Sailesh Mukherjee, private secretary to the CM, and two additional private secretaries to CM were released from the CMO. They will be subsequently given new postings. Principal secretary to the CM, Subesh Das, is also likely to be released from the CMO.

The reshuffle hints at the arrival of a new set of officers in the chief minister’s office. Gautam Sanyal, who is in the central secretariat service and works as OSD to the railway minister, is likely to join as the CM’s new principal secretary. Shantanu Basu, an IAS officer working as the private secretary to the railway minister, will also join the CMO. Tapas Chowdhury, now posted as Kolkata Municipal Corporation secretary, is likely to join as private secretary to the CM and Barun Roy, now private secretary to the Union minister of state for shipping, is expected to join as joint secretary in the CMO.