How was Ashish Kundra, a 1996-batch IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre, appointed as an administrator of Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli? Nobody in the Home Ministry seems to be able to explain. Kundra has served as an OSD to the former Commerce Minister, Anand Sharma. The Prime Minister has clearly instructed that no officer who has served on the staff of the ministers in the previous regime should be allotted significant assignments. And yet Kundra managed the post. Did Iqbal Singh Chahal, a 1989-batch IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre and Joint Secretary (UT) play a role in this appointment? But Joint Secretary-level officers cannot take that much risk. Chahal was brought to the Ministry by former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. Joint Secretary (UT) is an important post which looks after the appointment and administration of all the Union Territories of India. Chahal is on an important assignment and without political backing, it is not possible to stay there for long. Being a Maharashtra-cadre officer, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road, Transport and Shipping, who also hails from Maharashtra, backs him.
Vol. 8, issue 6 | SEPTEMBER | 2014