Bihar on the rise
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has reason to feel satisfied. Babus from Bihar have been silently making inroads into Delhi’s power corridors. Clearly, the days of the Mallu clique, followed by the UP clique are over. With many top slots at the Centre now manned by Bihar cadre officers, it is the day of the Bihar babu, just like it was for the Mallu lobby before them.
With most top slots at the Centre being taken over by Bihar cadre officers, we are sure CM Nitish Kumar has more than one reason to smile. From the Union Home Minister R.K. Singh, a 1975 batch Bihar cadre officer, also known for the meticulousness with which he handled Kasab’s execution, to the new CBI chief Ranjit Sinha, they have a Bihar connection.
Singh is also better known for changing the face of Bihar by laying down new roads as the Road Construction Commissioner then. Another Bihar cadre IPS officer Arun Choudhary is the Director-General of the Sashastra Seema Bal. The current Defence Secretary S.K. Sharma also hails from Bihar. And there are several others, observers point out. May be after all, it’sBihar’s time in the sun!
SC not amused
Defiance of court orders by babus, for obvious reasons, has not gone down well with the Supreme Court. It has become rather commonplace for bureaucrats at the Centre or in the States to ignore directives from the judiciary – from those that require their presence in the courts or those that require providing information and documents required to adjudicate in an ongoing proceeding. But now the Supreme Court has decided to act tough with those who wilfully choose to ignore judicial summons.
To set an example, perhaps, recently the Supreme Court issued a “stern warning” and slapped a fine on a former Chief Secretary of Bihar for defying a high court order. According to sources, the court was unwilling to accept an apology from the babu, G.S. Kang, and decided to act against him. It is now hoped that babus who wish to avoid suffering Kang’s fate will respond with greater alacrity towards matters judicial.
Widespread changes were of course expected in the Finance Ministry when P Chidambaram resumed charge about five months ago. And now when Ministry officials get down to the big task of working on the Union Budget for 2013, observers say that the Minister has put together a whole new team. In the revamp of personnel, Arvind Mayaram was made Secretary in the Economic Affairs Department while Sumit Bose is handling the crucial Revenue Department. Meanwhile Finance Secretary R.S. Gujral was shifted from big revenue to innocuous expenditure.
Chidambaram has also brought in Parthasarthi Shome as an Advisor to the Ministry. Though the appointment of Raghuram Rajan as Chief Economic Advisor was made before Chidambaram moved to the Finance Ministry, he too has also taken charge now. According to babu-watchers, Chidambaram’s budget team is now in place and preparations for the Union Budget work have begun in earnest. How different this teams end product, will be from its predecessor is to be seen but expectations are high again.