No Chief Minister does any “real” work by himself. In every Chief Minister’s office, there are pawns who implement the desires and wishes of the master. Haryana is no exception. Mahender Singh Chopra is the Man Friday of Bhupinder Singh Hooda. He is a Principal Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Minister of Haryana. Don’t get confused by his surname. He is not a Punjabi, but a Jat like Hooda. He belongs to Narwana where the Jats live in Chopra patti. So, like the Akalis, he has borrowed the title of Chopra. Chopra was a clerk in Parliament in the earlier days of his career but he came in touch with a veteran leader of Haryana, Col Ram Singh, through his original mentor, Chaudhary Birender Singh. Slowly he made himself indispensable and got himself appointed as PS to Col Singh when he was a central minister in the Cabinet. Hooda, Col Singh and Birender Singh were the trio opposing BhajanLal within the Congress. Soon, Chopra developed a rapport with Hooda. When Hooda became Chief Minister, he appointed Chopra as OSD in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. Naturally, the bureaucracy was not too happy about the induction of an outsider in the Chief Minister’s office. So Hooda had to announce in a meeting that Chopra’s instructions should be treated as his instructions. Since then, Chopra is ‘his master’s voice’ in the State. If you have some work to be done, just contact Chopra and listen to the music as the state administrative machinery dances to his tunes.
VOL. 8, ISSUE 1 | April | 2014