Skip to main content

Tale of two Misras: Narendra Modi begins to increasingly rely his Man Friday, PK Misra, retired IAS, Gujarat

Nripendra Misra
By Our Representative
Indications have emerged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “upset” with his principal secretary Nripendra Misra, the person handpicked from what an organization which many believe operates under RSS’ wings, Vivekanand Foundation. Modi has increasingly begun to rely, instead, another Misra, his principal secretary in Gujarat during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots, says an authoritative report. Quoting sources in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the report adds, Nripendra Misra has already been “overshadowed by his subordinate, additional principal secretary PK Misra”.
Nripendra Misra attracted unusual attention when he was made the Prime Minister’s principal secretary on May 27, 2014. The reason was that his appointment required an amendment in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, which was quickly pushed through, so that Modi could have him on his side – one whom he considered his favourite and belonged to an ideology to which he also subscribed. Retired IAS bureaucrat of the 1967 batch, as former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman, Misra established his reputation as a no-nonsense man.
PK Misra
The report says, Misra angered Modi over an an interview he gave to The Hindu, where he spelled out priorities of the economy. Especially focusing on the need to bring in reforms in infrastructure and policy reforms, Misra said there was a need to ask why, despite large investments, completed power projects were not operational, why the National Highway Authority of India was unable to deliver on road building targets, and why despite India’s rich natural resources, earnings from exports of minerals had come to a halt while coal was being imported.
The reason for relying more on PK Misra is not far to seek: A long-time Modi loyalist, Misra, who served as principal secretary to Modi between 2001 and 2004, remained close to Modi even after his retirement in 2008. He was awarded chairmanship of Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission on his return from Delhi deputation, and was consulted by Modi in all IAS placements right up till 2014. The report says, Misra has already started scrutinizing all Cabinet notes and representing the PMO at cabinet meetings – tasks were traditionally performed by the principal secretary.
The report says, there is reason to believe that this is part of a larger trend visible within this administration, as every significant post in the PMO has been filled with officials who worked with Modi in Gujarat. Other prominent members of the Gujarat cadre IAS officers include AK Sharma, Modi’s secretary in the chief minister’s office in Gandhinagar, who is joint secretary in the PMO; and Rajiv Topno, private secretary to the Prime Minister, whom Modi called “out man in PMO when Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister.
This apart Modi’s press notes continue to be handled by Jagdish Thakkar, his public relations officer in Gujarat, and social media by Hiren Joshi, who did the same job in Gandhinagar for Modi. In addition to this, even at the junior level, the Prime Minister trusts persons from the home state. These include Sanjay Bhavsar, who looked after all of Modi’s appointments in Gandhinagar, and Tanmay Mehta and Dinesh Thakur, who remained with Modi to take care of his personal issues. The report also mentions two more names, Prateek Doshi and Hemang Jani, both from Gujarat.

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Story of a foot soldier of Gujarat riots coming from a vulnerable community, Chharas

By Rajiv Shah
He is one of the more prominent "foot soldiers" of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Suresh Jadeja, alias Langdo, alias Richard, is indeed a well-known name in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, in which 97 persons were killed on February 28, 2002, the first day of the riots that shook the nation. Ordinarily, such a person should have been subjected to sociological scrutiny. What have here is a keen journalistic account, with clear political-ideological overtone.

Noteban: Harvard, Goldman Sachs scholars bemoan lack of "authentic" growth data

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp observation, scholars of a recent high-profile study, "Cash and the Economy: Evidence from India's Demonetization", whose results have been widely reported, have bemoaned: That there is lack of authentic official data on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the Government of India, forcing them to use “nightlights data”, a methodology usually adopted by top international scholars to assess socio-economic growth in highly underdeveloped countries of East Africa and parts of Asia, where no authentic ground level surveys are available to assess development.