The man who could perhaps have been Gujarat’s police chief is now retired but retained as an advisor in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Kuldip Sharma, the 1976 batch IPS officer who battled State Chief Minister Narendra Modi in court and in the media, was not only denied promotion as DGP but had criminal charges levelled against him. It took the State High Court to put an end to the case.
Sharma, who then came to Delhi as DGP of Bureau of Police Research and Development, retired last year. So has the Centre, which has no love lost for the Gujarat Chief Minister, appointed Sharma simply to thumb its nose at Modi? Interestingly, Kuldip Sharma’s brother, Pradip, an IAS officer who was arrested in an alleged land scam and is now on bail, is still battling it out with Modi.
Cause of envy
He’s not from the IAS or even the IPS, but Gautam Sanyal, Secretary to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is widely considered the most powerful babu in the State these days. Though the “heaven born” may fret and fume, it’s a fact that many veteran babus are now learning to live with. Sanyal, sources say, is Didi’s most trusted lieutenant, and a word from him is considered as good as a diktat from the CM herself.
Envy against Sanyal does not merely stem from his proximity to Ms Banerjee, but also that he happens to be an officer from the lesser known Central Secretariat Service (CCS). Apparently State Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh was reluctant to push Sanyal into a position usually ‘reserved’ for IAS officers. But he couldn’t prevail as the CM was adamant to bring in Sanyal. Some point out that Sanyal’s clout has risen at the cost of Nazrul Islam, an IPS officer, who obviously has fallen out of favour with the temperamental Chief Minister.
The Ministry of Science and Technology remains one of the few places where the Secretary’s position is reserved for specialists; in this case, scientists. And this is now becoming a problem for the Government. The present Secretary T Ramasami has decided to retire after seven years, and the Ministry is finding it difficult to find a person to replace him. Clearly, not many boffins are enthused about taking up an administrative post. According to sources, a selection committee by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth has been entrusted with the responsibility of finding a new Secretary, but contenders namely Devang Khattar (Director, IIT Bombay) and DD Sarma of the Indian Institute of Science are rather cold to the idea. If the committee cannot find a replacement, it is likely that Ramasami may get another extension, though he has already had three. Or perhaps the IAS lobby hopes that it may finally get a toe in?