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Gujarat babus pin hopes on PM Modi for central posting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always considered himself to be a “team man”. He is expected to have his own team of bureaucrats not only in his office but in other key ministries at the Centre.

The process has already begun with Modi appointing two Gujarat-cadre IAS officers — Bharatlal Gupta and

A K Sharma — as joint secretaries in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Modi has also appointed information technology expert Hiren Joshi from Gujarat government as officer on special duty (OSD) in the PMO. Joshi was OSD (IT) when Modi was chief minister of Gujarat, and was instrumental in introducing Modi on the social media circuit.

Sources in the state government said Modi has also taken his long-time public relations officer Jagdish Thakker along with him to the PMO, besides a few of his personal assistants who have been with him since 2001. More Gujarat bureaucrats are likely to move in to Delhi not possibly to the PMO but on deputation to various ministries.

However, with the decision of new Chief Minister Anandiben Patel to retain some of the key secretaries from Modi team for the time being, it suggests other Gujarat bureaucrats will have to wait a little longer for the new CM to settle down before moving to Delhi. The Gujarat government on June appointed 1985-batch IAS officer G C Murmu as principal secretary to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. Another 2001-batch IAS officer Vijay Nehra has also been appointed as the secretary in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). Principal Secretary in CMO  K Kailashnathan was also retained by Patel.

“The buzz is Gandhinagar is that not many people would move to Delhi in the short term. A lot of names, including those of G C Murmu, K Kailashnathan, Rajesh Kishor, Arvind Agarwal were doing the rounds. From what it looks like, nothing much wouldn’t happen on ground till the Assembly session is over (in July) . A few more people might be asked to move afterwards,” said another senior bureaucrat.

Senior bureaucrats believe more names could prop up in the longer run. “It might take some time and Modi might want to figure out what would be the best way to use the skills and experiences of these bureaucrats. So, in the longer run we might hear about some more movements,” said a senior bureaucrat, adding that apart from A K Sharma and Bharat Lal Gupta, former Gujarat Principal Secretary for Industry and Mines Maheshwar Sahu could find a place in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project at the Centre.

Another official said some of Gujarat’s successful models were likely to be replicated at the Centre. In such a context, state’s officials could help in their implementation. However, the official did not give out possible projects that could be replicated.

Central deputation of many senior officials are in the pipeline, which could be expedited once Modi settles down after the Centre’s Budget session.

Gujarat government has not sent any IAS officer on central deputation. But now with elections over fresh list of senior bureaucrats will be drawn and evaluated by the state government. Some of the key bureaucrats whose deputation was due in 2013 included principal secretary health Rajesh Kishore, GSPC MD Tapan Ray, J P Gupta and H K Dash.

For the year 2014, IAS officers who would become eligible for central deputation include Atanu Chakraborty (1985), A M Tiwari (1985 ), Sangeeta Singh (1986), Sanjay Prasad (1986), Vipul Mitra (1986), Rajiv Gupta (1986) and L Chaungo (1987).

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