Time for change
As the year heads to a close, three top positions in India’s investigation and security agencies will need to be filled. It’s not often that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) see their Chiefs retire around the same! Quite obviously, an aggressive search is underway for suitable replacements.
According to sources, there is a lot of speculation around who will replace 1974 batch IPS officer and CBI Director Amar Pratap Singh. For now, most punters are betting on Singh’s IPS batchmate Ranjit Sinha who is the favourite frontrunner. Other names doing the rounds are those of V.K. Gupta, Special Director in the CBI and S.C. Sinha, presently with the National Investigation Agency. Similarly, Intelligence Bureau Chief Nehchal Sandhu is retiring in December though it is rumoured that he may be granted a three-month extension. Nevertheless, sources say, 1976 batch IPS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre, Ram Niwas Gupta and Sandhu’s classmate Yashovardhan Azad of the MP cadre are both eminently eligible for this post.
However, observers expect a rather smooth succession at RAW, the intelligence agency. In all likelihood, RAW boss Sanjeev Tripathi will be replaced by Alok Joshi, a 1976 batch IPS officer, who is currently number two at the agency. Watch this space for updates on what always is a photofinish.
What Mamata wants, she gets. The fiery West Bengal Chief Minister surprised many by choosing 1982 batch IAS officer and ex-PMO hand Sanjay Mitra as the State’s new Chief Secretary. The trouble is that Mitra is rather young and, sources say, there are at least 13 babus of theWest Bengal cadre who are senior to him. They include, among others, 1976 batch IAS officer A.K. Chanda, 1978 batch officer Jaya Dasgupta and Mitra’s batch mate S.K. Nurul Haque.
But obviously none of these babus stood a chance once Mamata Banerjee made up her mind on naming Mitra as the chosen one. Apparently, his stint at the PMO may have helped swing matters in his favour. He is reportedly close to the PM’s adviser T.K.A. Nair and Principal Secretary to PM Pulok Chatterjee. Perhaps, the TMC leader, despite moving out of the UPA coalition, wants to keep the channels of communication open with her former partner.
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