R Vineel Krishna, Malkangiri district magistrate and hero of a Maoist abduction drama in February, impressed Jairam Ramesh so much that the environment minister has appointed him his personal secretary.
Krishna, 30, who spent eight days in captivity, had apparently expressed his willingness to join Ramesh’s office. The diligence that made him a Maoist target is holding him in good stead with the minister.
Impressed with Krishna’s commitment to tribal welfare and his close monitoring of projects, Ramesh contacted him after a civil society organisation member suggested his name.
Ramesh’s offer has come at a time when Krishna’s family is believed to be keen on him moving out of the state, as a section of the Orissa bureaucracy has reportedly started a whisper campaign, suggesting he was a Maoist sympathiser.
Moreover, soon after the Maoists released Krishna, Orissa ordered an inquiry into the circumstances that led to his abduction and transferred him to the SC/ST department as director. Krishna, who could not be contacted, proceeded on leave.
“Yes, he is coming,” Ramesh said when asked if the 2005 batch IAS officer, who also has a civil engineering degree from IIT Madras, would be joining his office.
Ministry officials said a requisition for Krishna’s central posting would be sent soon. “Only the paper work remains, everything else is done,” a ministry official said.
Orissa’s special secretary UN Behera, in charge of the general administration department, said Krishna had not applied for transfer. Krishna, a native of Andhra Pradesh, from where Ramesh is a Rajya Sabha MP, was kidnapped from Chitrakonda where he had gone to inspect a public works project.
(Inputs from Priyaranjan Sahu)