Rajiv Gauba, TV Somanathan in race for post of PM’s Principal Secretary; leadership crisis deepens in Congress

There is buzz in the bureaucracy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Principal Secretary PK Mishra has decided to hang up his boots.

Published: 21st March 2022 03:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2022 10:06 AM   |  A+A-

Rajiv Gauba and TV Somanathan

Express News Service

PM’s Principal Secretary

Gauba, Somanathan in race to replace PK Mishra

There is buzz in the bureaucracy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Principal Secretary PK Mishra has decided to hang up his boots.

Mishra, a 1972 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer, who had worked closely with Modi in his home state, was reemployed after retirement.

Mishra had taken over as Principal Secretary from Nripendra Mishra, who had resigned on personal grounds.

According to sources, either Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba or Finance Secretary T V Somanathan would be the next Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Somanathan is a 1987 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer, who has earlier served as Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office under Modi.

Gauba is also a regime favourite and was given a one-year extension last year and his term as Cabinet Secretary would come to an end in August this year.

He has earlier served as Union Home Secretary under Amit Shah. The Prime Minister, however, would take a final call on when he would allow Mishra to leave and who the next man would be.

Who is yogi?

NSE case goes in circles as CBI skims the surface

The CBI has confronted NSE’s former Chief Strategy Advisor Anand Subramanian with two sets of evidence to prove that he was the person whom Chitra Ramkrishna, the former CEO and MD of NSE, referred to as the Himalayan yogi in her deposition.

First, the geo-tagging of some pictures attached to mails sent from the so-called yogi’s account to Ramkrishna showed that the mails originated from places close to Anand’s Chennai residence.

The second evidence is that the email ID used by the yogi,, was linked to Subramanian’s Skype ID.

Based on these, CBI seems convinced that Anand is the yogi. CBI did not collect this evidence in the course of its investigation.

It was deduced by Ernst & Young in a forensic audit it had carried out on the request of NSE in a case relating to illegality in Subramanian’s appointment. But Subramanian has flatly denied being the yogi.

SEBI too has rejected E&Y’s findings.

In a 190-page investigation report, SEBI has explained in detail why Subramanian could not be the yogi.

This paper has carried out the SEBI report in detail. CBI has not conducted any fresh investigation. It is using the E&Y’s findings to prove that Subramanian is the yogi. Subramanian is not accepting this. As result, the case is making no headway. According to SEBI, there is a third person, or more than one person, who have been communicating with Ramkrishna through the email ID

CBI needs to go beyond what E&Y has said to find out the yogi’s identity. A good place to start would be the 2,500 emails in its possession.

Renowned cognitive psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker says every sentence is unique. CBI could get a linguist to examine the emails to figure out who the author could be.

Demand of rebel leaders

Pressure mounts on Rahul to sack Venugopal

The Congress leadership has dangled the carrot in front of two seniors in the rebel camp. It has reportedly offered a Rajya Sabha seat to Ghulam Nabi Azad and presidentship of Haryana Congress to Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

But this would not satisfy the rebels’ demand of democratising the functioning of the party at every level and ushering in inclusive leadership.

Simply put, the latter of the two demands means allowing rebels to call the shots. Or at least include them in organisational decision-making.

The rebels want some heads to roll to help them claim victory and lay down their arms. One of the key targets is KC Venugopal, general secretary in charge of organisational matters. He is Rahul’s trusted lieutenant.

Sources say Venugopal may be asked to make way for a mutually acceptable organisational in-charge.

Rahul had earlier asked his key adviser Kanishka Singh to take a back seat under pressure from veterans.


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