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 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

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.

Union Budget: 24 crore people live in the dark, Sitharaman talks of prepaid smart meters

Counterview Desk
The Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), a Delhi-based advocacy group, commenting on the Union budget 2020-21, has has called it a case of missing wood for the trees, pointing out, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "missed an opportunity to fix the economy, which is reeling under an unprecedented slowdown, with all indices pointing towards a recession."