NEW DELHI: Ignoring political bosses and changing portfolios of senior officers in the Ministry without the knowledge of Home Minister Rajnath Singh cost L C Goyal the post of Union Home Secretary, highly-placed sources said.
Goyal, who was ousted from the high-profile job yesterday, is said to have ignored Singh's advice on many occasions. However, when contacted, Goyal told PTI that he had nothing to say beyond what he had said yesterday.
"I don't want to say anything beyond what I said yesterday," he said. He had yesterday said it was his own decision and any other reason being mentioned was "factually incorrect".
The sources, who did not want to be identified said, Goyal had recently ordered change of portfolios of two Additional Secretaries and a Joint Secretary without consulting the Home Minister, an act which made Singh furious.
The Home Minister even used his Deputy Kiren Rijiju to persuade Goyal not to take such decisions unilaterally but he apparently paid little attention to such advice.
Singh had to overrule all the decisions and restored the portfolios of the Additional Secretaries and the Joint Secretary.
The Home Minister had been receiving complaints of several Joint Secretaries that many proposals of the Home Ministry were turned down by Goyal even at the conceptualisation stage without consulting the Minister or any of the two Ministers of State.
On several occasions, the Home Minister or his two Deputies had to overrule the Home Secretary leading to further differences between them, the sources said.
The trigger for taking the final decision came when Goyal, changed the portfolio of a Joint Secretary handling the Disaster Management Division last week without keeping the bosses informed.
"At this point of time, the Home Minister thought enough is enough and went to the Prime Minister seeking removal of Goyal, which the Prime Minister had agreed," a source said.
Sources said Goyal showed rules books on several occasions and even refused to act despite clear cut instructions from political leadership. Goyal was also said to have been running a long battle with Additional Secretary A K Singh, who was considered close to the Home Minister. A K Singh was also shifted yesterday to the Petroleum Ministry, apparently due to a balancing act by the Home Minister.
The former Home Secretary also had differences with the government on certain key issues including the recent Naga accord, denial of security clearance to SUN TV owned by the Maran group and issues related to an NGO headed by activist Teesta Setalvad.
Goyal was yesterday replaced after only seven months in office and another senior IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed in his place on the day of his superannuation. A statement by the PMO also said that the Prime Minister had also approved the request of Goyal seeking voluntary retirement "due to personal reasons with immediate effect".
Later, Goyal was appointed by the government as Chairman and Managing Director of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).