Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Narendra Modi "sounds" PK Misra, his principal secretary during 2002 riots, for a plum Delhi posting

Dr PK Misra
By Our Representative
Dr PK Misra, controversial principal secretary of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi during the 2002 riots, is learnt to have been told that he should join the new team under Modi’s stewardship immediately after the new BJP-led government takes over in Delhi following the Lok Sabha poll results on May 16. A top Gujarat government bureaucrat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Counterview that Dr Misra has been telling his IAS colleagues in Gandhinagar Sachivalaya that he has been “sounded about this by Modi personally".
“Dr Misra is not saying which post he will occupy under Modi, but in all probability will be Prime Minister Modi’s principal secretary”, the official said, adding, “While there are strong rumours that Modi will take along with him his principal chief secretary K Kailashnanthan, a retired IAS bureaucrat who continues to call the shots in the chief minister’s office, and his additional principal secretary AK Sharma, also an IAS bureaucrat, this may not happen”.
Two major reasons are being given for this. First of all, none of these two have any experience in working in Delhi, and are quite “unfamiliar” with the North Block babudom culture. The second, and more important, is that Modi “needs” a team of babus in Gujarat who could continue informing him back home in Delhi about how things were going in Gandhinagar after he leaves Gujarat. “Modi would not like to lose control over the Gujarat administration, even if he installs his closest ally Anandiben Patel as next chief minister”, the official said.
K Kailashnathan
“By contrast”, this official pointed out, “Dr Misra knows Delhi babudom pretty well. He shifted to Delhi in May 13, 2004, expecting the NDA would return to power. He was tipped to become Union home secretary. However, as this did not happen and NDA was defeated, he had to be satisfied with a posting considered sidelined – member-secretary, National Capital Region Planning Board -- before making his way two years later to the plum post of Union agriculture secretary. He also worked as secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, in Delhi.”
Retired in 2008, Misra was awarded with the powerful post of chairman of the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission -- responsible for fixing power tariffs for different category of power consumers -- for continuing to display his loyalty to Modi. Currently, he serving as director-general of the Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM), and Modi is known to have taken his advice for all major babus’ postings in Gujarat government.
A babu claiming to have academic bent of mind – he has authored a book on agricultural marketing – Misra was in touch with Modi even before the latter took over as Gujarat chief minister in October 2001. A known critic of the then chief minister Keshubhai Patel, as head of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA), formed after the January 2001 killer earthquake, it is widely rumoured, he was behind passing on crucial information to Modi on "rampant corruption" under Modi’s predecessor.
During the first days of the anti-Muslim riots, which broke out on February 27-28, 2002, Misra doggedly followed all instructions of Modi, going so far as to stiffly deny, talking with newspersons, the gruesome murder of ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri during the infamous attack on Gulbarg Society incident. "You can quote me, nothing of the sort has happened, the situation in Ahmedabad is absolutely normal”, he was quoted as telling a scribe.
There have been allegations that Misra was present in a crucial meeting in Gandhinagar on February 27, where Modi directed cops and officials to go soft on rioters. A former Gujarat Cabinet minister, Jaspal Singh, in a letter has to the special investigation team (SIT) urged the top body appointed by the Supreme Court to examine Modi’s role in riots, to interrogate Misra, as he was one of those who attended the crucial meeting.
Haren Pandya
Reports say, “written records” suggest Misra instructed the director-general of state intelligence to track Haren Pandya’s movements in 2002, around the time when Pandya deposed before the independent citizens’ tribunal under Justice VR Krishna Iyer. Pandya was murdered in mysterious circumstances in March 2003. According to these reports, an intelligence noting in a police register, dated June 7, 2002, reads: “Dr PK Misra added that Shri Harenbhai Pandya, minister for revenue is suspected to be the minister involved in the matter. Thereafter, he gave one mobile number and asked for getting call details.”
Five days later, on June 12, 2002, there was reportedly another entry in the register: “Informed Dr PK Misra that the minister who is suspected to have met the private inquiry commission (Justice VR Krishna Iyer) is known to be Mr Haren Pandya. I also informed that the matter cannot be given in writing as this issue is quite sensitive and not connected with the charter of duties given to State intelligence Bureau vide Bombay Police Manual.”

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