Power games: Hunt for spy chiefs begin as IB, RAW heads to retire
The one-year extension given to the chiefs of India’s two premier spy organisations Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) is coming to an end on June 30.
Published: 02nd May 2022 07:32 AM | Last Updated: 02nd May 2022 07:32 AM | A+A A-
Hunt for spy chiefs begin as IB, RAW heads to retire
The one-year extension given to the chiefs of India’s two premier spy organisations Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) is coming to an end on June 30. Following the tradition, the government has started the process of finding their replacement well in advance. Among the frontrunners for the post of IB chief is 1987 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer A S Rajan, who is currently serving as number two in the Intelligence Bureau. Rajan has served as Deputy Director and Joint Director in Gujarat and is rated highly by the present government. This was evident when he was given the prize posting of the London office for the agency. Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana, a favourite cop of the current dispensation, is considered a dark horse. His name figures in all discussions on appointment of IB chief, RAW chief and even Delhi L-G. Sources say that though Asthana has never served in IB, he is a contender for the post. There has been a precedent when an officer who had never served in IB was brought in from outside to head the organisation. Asthana, therefore, remains a contender for all the three top posts. Meanwhile, a six-month extension given to CBI Special Director Praveen Sinha on the last day of his service on April 30 “in relaxation of Rule 16(1) of the All India Services” has drawn a lot of attention. The 1988 batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer is said to be under consideration for the post of CBI director. Sinha had earlier served as acting chief of the CBI before the present director, Subodh Jaiswal, was given a two-year tenure last year. Sources say Jaiswal is being considered as a replacement of outgoing RAW chief Samant Goel.
Nitish-Tejashwi bonhomie has BJP worried
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar skipped the joint conference of chief ministers and state chief justices addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India N V Ramana at Delhi. This triggered talk of his rift with the BJP. It was said Nitish’s absence was a way of showing his annoyance with his alliance partner. The Bihar Chief Minister has had a series of spats with the BJP. It started with the BJP unofficially backing Chirag Paswan’s candidates against Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) candidates in the last state elections. The BJP strategy paid rich dividends as the JD(U) emerged as the smallest of the three main political parties in the Bihar legislative assembly. That’s where the rift between the two parties started. The BJP has been trying to free Bihar from Nitish Kumar’s control and assume charge of the state. Nitish, however, is not ready to hang his boots yet. He has of late sent messages to the BJP that if it pushes too hard, the relationship may break. He accepted the Iftar hosted by Tejashwi Yadav, where he was seen laughing and sharing light moments with leaders of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal. He later invited Tejashwi to his own Iftar party. And then came the decision to miss the important Delhi conference. The message from Nitish is clear: that he remains captain of the alliance and any attempt to push him out may force him to explore other options.
Gauba leads raise for Delhi L-G; Bhalla for Cab Secy
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba’s one-year extension given last year is coming to an end in August. Sources say his next stop may be the Raj Niwas in Delhi’s Civil Lines, as he may be appointed the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Other officers being considered for the prestigious and powerful post are Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana and former Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. The five-year term of present L-G Anil Baijal has ended and the government is in the process of selecting his successor. Sources said besides being a contender for the post of Delhi L-G, Bhalla is also being considered for the post of Cabinet Secretary. According to sources, he is the government’s top choice as the replacement for Gauba. Finance secretary T V Somanathan, a 1985 batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre, is another strong contender for the post of Cabinet Secretary. Sources said it’s a toss-up between Bhalla and Somanathan for the post of Cabinet Secretary. Another extension for Gauba has been ruled out.