NEW DELHI: The central government has appointed its favourites at the President Secretariat. While the two bureaucrats Sanjay Kothari and Bharat Lal are known to be favourites of PM Narendra Modi, senior journalist Ashok Malik, who has been appointed as press secretary to the President, is known to be a BJP loyalist.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by the PM Narendra Modi, has cleared appointments of the three officials. Sanjay Kothari, chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board, has been appointed as secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind.
Kothari is known for taking the unique initiative of encouraging self-certification in place of attestations and affidavits when he used to be secretary at the Department of Administrative Reforms and Grievances (DARPG).
His idea was subsequently implemented by the NDA government in August 2014. Impressed with his work, government in July 2014 named the 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre as secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) from where he retired in June last year. He was in November 2016 appointed as the chief of PESB.
Similarly, Bharat Lal, Gujarat’s resident commissioner in New Delhi, is known to be a close aide of the PM. During the initial days of Modi taking over as PM, Lal used to shuttle between PMO and Gujarat Bhavan in New Delhi.