PM Shows Who The Boss Is
A shake-up in one of the top posts of the government has generated criticism and speculation that the move reportedly sanctioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not run past his number two in the cabinet, Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Rajiv Mehrishi who took over as Union Home Secretary, hours before he was to retire—replacing LC Goyal, who was appointed just seven months ago was not Rajnath Singh’s choice according to reliable sources. It is also said that Goyal was not been getting along with his minister for some time. Rajnath Singh wanted him replaced but not by Mehrishi. The 1978 batch Indian Administrative Service officer was reportedly handpicked by PM Modi. He has been credited with key reforms in Rajasthan as Vasundhara Raje’s chief secretary. He was brought in from Rajasthan last October as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s right-hand man, to steer the Department of Economic Affairs, which is at the heart of the government’s economic policies.
His new post makes him the Centre’s lynch-pin and chief fire fighter for matters involving counter-terrorism, Maoism, the security policy of Foreign Direct Investment, Centre-state relations, the appointment of Governors, border management and disaster management, among other things. Goyal had reportedly invited trouble when he clashed with a junior officer – Additional Secretary A K Singh – who is considered very close to the home minister. He changed the work allocation of additional secretaries, including that of AK Singh, and allegedly used his discretion on some issues which allegedly didn’t go down very well with the minister. Goyal’s inability to device “imaginative solutions” for difficult situations also allegedly went against him. But sudden shuffling in recent times signals the end of honeymoon between Modi and top Babus. It also reasserts that only Modi is the boss when choosing officers even for posts in a minister’s office or a ministry.