FOUR former bureaucrats—two IAS, one IFS and one IPS—were made ministers at the Centre giving a clear signal that Prime Minister Narendra Modi banks more on former bureaucrats than political leaders when it comes to performance. It’s not that simple; all the top former civil servants had the right connections. Here’s how the dice rolled in their favour. Whereas former Kerala cadre IAS officer KJ Alphons was given independent charge of the ministry of tourism, former IFS officer Hardeep Singh Puri will now handle urban affairs, independently. Also, former Home Secretary Raj Kumar Singh will handle two ministries—power and the ministry of new and renewable energy; and ex-Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh has been made the MoS in two ministries—HRD and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation. A 1979 batch former IAS officer, KJ Alphons joined the BJP in 2011. A former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1974 batch, Puri is the chairman of New Delhi-based think tank—Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). As an IFS officer, he rose to the rank of Ambassador and Permanent Representative of United Nations. He briefly taught in St. Stephens College before joining the Foreign Service. Sources disclosed that both civil servants were appointed with the recommendation of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. A former Bihar cadre IAS officer of the 1975 batch, RK Singh became union home secretary before joining politics and winning the 2014 Lok Sabha poll from Arrah in Bihar on a BJP ticket. Rajiv Pratap Rudy and RK Singh are close to Home Minister Rajnath Singh. When Rudy was removed in a reshuffle, RK Singh was brought in to balance the Rajnath faction within the cabinet. A former IPS officer of the 1980 batch who rose to become Mumbai’s police commissioner, Satyapal Singh is BJP’s Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh. Satyapal Singh was brought in mainly to calm down the Jats of western UP and make inroads into the fiefdom of prominent Jat leader Ajit Singh. According to the grapevine, a top industrialist house of Mumbai recommended his name for the ministerial berth.
VOL. 11 | ISSUE 6 | SEPTEMBER 2017