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  Opinion   Columnists  23 Aug 2023  Dilip Cherian | Why bureaucrats from poll-bound states making a beeline for BJP

Dilip Cherian | Why bureaucrats from poll-bound states making a beeline for BJP

Love them, hate them ignore them at national peril, is the babu guarantee and Dilip’s belief. Share significant babu escapades
Published : Aug 24, 2023, 12:15 am IST
Updated : Aug 24, 2023, 12:15 am IST

Ved Prakash, R.K. Mishra and M.K. Agarwal were made official members of the party by Amit Shah.

Union Home minister Amit Shah. (Photo by arrangement)
 Union Home minister Amit Shah. (Photo by arrangement)

In a recent column (August 10, 2023), your writer highlighted the BJP’s keen pursuit of new talent, with a particular focus on bureaucrats. Intriguingly, the babus, too, are seeking refuge in the party. This is a hopeful sign for those babus who are dejected at being left out in the race for extension of tenure! Joining politics is clearly the next best thing, especially for ex-babus pining for the days when they held the reins of power.

News emerging from poll-bound Madhya Pradesh reveals that three former IAS officers have gracefully pirouetted from babugiri to netagiri, donning the BJP’s saffron cloak. Ved Prakash, R.K. Mishra and M.K. Agarwal were made official members of the party by none other than Union home minister Amit Shah recently. The air of secrecy surrounding this move left the media scrambling to catch up, as the announcement caught them off guard.

The party’s spotlight has now turned towards Telangana, where it has not hesitated to extend invitations to former civil service luminaries, including former Andhra Pradesh chief secretaries I.Y.R. Krishna Rao and L.V. Subramanyam, as well as retired IPS officers and former academics, to bolster the party’s ranks.

Behind the scenes, according to sources, a covert group of around 20 such former officials, armed with pie charts and bar graphs, is busy analyzing the Telangana government’s schemes and projects. This elite team reportedly features the likes of former IPS officer T. Krishna Prasad and former IAS officer R. Chandravadan, among others. It is hoped that the collective efforts of these experienced babus will help sharpen the party’s strategy against the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government ahead of polls.

As elections draw near, the political theatre promises to be a riveting show, where babus trade their pens for podiums and governance meets showmanship!

Babus preparing to celebrate 20 years of Vibrant Gujarat summit

As the monsoon-induced chaos keeps Delhi’s babus on their toes ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit meeting early next month, in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, the diligent babus are meticulously crafting the blueprint for the next edition of the Vibrant Gujarat 2024 summit, which completes 20 years next year. The first summit was held in 2004, when Mr Modi was the chief minister of the state.

Sources have informed DKB that the Gujarat industries department, steered by the adept additional chief secretary S.J. Haider plans to invite and felicitate all those babus who were instrumental in organising previous summits. Senior babus such as A.K. Sharma, and Maheshwar Sahu, alongside other luminaries who have since retired from service, are slated to be celebrated for their pivotal roles. Notably, A.K. Sharma has since ascended to the role of minister in the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh.

Given the prestige associated with the summit, chief minister Bhupendra Patel and chief secretary Raj Kumar are directly supervising this initiative, with the PMO likely looking over their shoulders. But it is Mr Haider who has been an indomitable force since the inception of the event and is now at the forefront of the activities. It is learned that a tech show will be the highlight of the next edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, showcasing the initiatives of the Centre under the Digital India platform, and Mr Modi himself is expected to inaugurate the event.

Kerala tightens foreign travel rules for babus

The Kerala government has decided to scrutinise the foreign trips of IAS, IPS and IFS officers, even if they are on personal visits abroad. The state chief secretary, V. Venu, has reportedly instructed all-India service officers in the state to mandatorily inform the government about the country of visit and duration.

Apparently, foreign trips by government officials have long been a subject of discussion due to concerns about their necessity, purpose, and potential misuse of public funds. The review process aims to evaluate the relevance of these overseas trips to the officers’ official responsibilities.

In October last year, the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions issued a communiqué delegating the powers to sanction the leaves of officers for travelling abroad, except for study leaves, to the state government.

By assessing the knowledge and skills gained during such trips, the Kerala government intends to determine whether they contribute to the officers’ professional growth. As for the babus, it is hoped that they can justify their globetrotting expenses!

Tags: dilip cherian column, ved prakash, amit shah