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Meet minister RK Singh, the DM who ordered Advani’s arrest and halted Rath Yatra

A 1975-batch IAS officer, RK Singh was a former Union home secretary from 2011 to 2013 and also headed defence production during the UPA-II regime.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2017 23:31 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Reshuffle of Modi Cabinet,Modi ministers new,Swearing-in of Modi Cabinet
RK Singh, a first-time MP from Bihar, is a 1975-batch IAS officer who was the Union home secretary from 2011 to 2013. (HT file photo)

Life came a full circle for Raj Kumar Singh, a first-time MP from Ara in Bihar, when he was sworn in as a minister of state in the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre on Sunday.

On October 30, 1990, when Singh was the district magistrate of Samastipur, he had famously ordered the arrest of BJP stalwart Lal Krishna Advani when the veteran leader’s ‘Rath Yatra’ was on its way to Ayodhya from Somnath, Gujarat. Lalu Prasad was the chief minister of Bihar then.

But that was not the only time Singh had taken on the high and mighty and is even known to criticise his own party.

Soon after his superannuation, Singh put former Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in the dock, alleging his involvement in the IPL spot fixing case. He also claimed that Shinde had interfered in the investigations.

Singh had also waded into the Ishrat Jahan enocounter case, asserting that she was a terrorist. He then claimed that an affidavit filed in the Ishrat Jahan case was changed for political reasons by former Union home minister P Chidambaram.

Singh, during his tenure at the defence ministry, had also red-flagged the the Tatra-BEML deal. He had objected to the way the agreement with Tatra Sipox, UK, was renewed by BEML in 2003. He had also questioned the tardy pace of indigenisation of the Tatra vehicles, even though BEML had a transfer of technology pact with the supplying firm.

Singh, a 1975-batch IAS officer, was also the former Union home secretary from 2011 to 2013 and had also headed defence production during the UPA-II regime.

When Nitish Kumar came to power in Bihar in 2005, Singh, as principal secretary of road construction department, was instrumental in improving the road network in the state.

Later, as principal secretary of the disaster management department, he played an vital role in the relief and rescue operation during the 2008 Kosi floods in Bihar following a breach in the Kusaha embankment.

On December 13, 2013, Singh joined the BJP and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Ara. He won with a margin of more than 1.35 lakh votes.

First Published: Sep 03, 2017 11:14 IST