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Maximum Modi loyalists, minimum government

india Updated: Jun 23, 2014 18:22 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times
Prime Minister Modi

Prime Minister Modi made streamlining the bureaucracy a campaign platform, vowing “maximum governance and minimum government.”

As a matter of administrative style, Modi is known to depend on a few of his own in key positions to keep a sharp eye on the bureaucracy.

For this purpose, the Prime Minister has brought in bureaucrats known for a style of functioning that gels with his own work ethics.

One of the key men in Modi’s team is Nripendra Mishra, a former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman, who has been appointed as the PM’s principal secretary.

The 1967-batch officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre is known for his professionalism and contacts cutting across party lines.

Modi also roped in another retired bureaucrat PK Mishra as his additional principal secretary. Mishra, a 1972 batch IAS officer, was Modi’s first principal secretary when he moved to Gujarat as chief minister in 2001.

Others in the PM’s corterie include Gujarat government officials Bharat Lal, OP Singh, Jagadish Thakkar and Sanjay Bhavsar.

Lal, an Indian Foreign Services officer who was Modi’s eyes and ears in Delhi pre-May 16, has moved to PMO as a private secretary. Singh, another Modi confidante, is now the PM’s personal assistant.

Thakkar, formerly the PRO in the Gujarat CM’s office, and Bhavsar — Modi’s officer on special duty in Gujarat — are the two other trusted lieutenants who have been brought into the PMO.