PATNA: Nitish Kumar’s dependence on his election strategist Prashant Kishor is annoying the JD(U) brass. Kishor’s name being floated for a Rajya Sabha seat, the election for which is scheduled in June, has alerted some party stalwarts. Not just that, IAS officers in the state are miffed with the way Kishor has been throwing his weight around as the advisor to the chief minister.
In Rajya Sabha, the party will have just two seats instead of five due to fewer number of MLAs. Rajya Sabha members from JD(U)—Sharad Yadav, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, K C Tyagi, Pavan Kumar Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi—will retire this year.
In the rank and file of civil servants, the simmering resentment surfaced when a Chief Secretary-rank officer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh sought voluntary retirement on health grounds. Sources suggest that his retirement has more to do with Kishor. As Kishor is neither an elected representative nor a bureaucrat, the sweeping powers given to him have caused a lot of resentment in the top echelons of bureaucracy.
The 1983-batch IAS officer who is the principal secretary in the Panchayati Raj Department with additional charge as director-general of Bihar Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development applied for voluntary retirement on February 23, requesting to be relieved from duty by August 31, 2016, exactly a year before his retirement date. Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh confirmed this.
Rakesh was made home commissioner by the Election Commission before the Assembly elections. Later, Nitish transferred him to the Panchayati Raj Department as principal secretary. Rakesh was reportedly unhappy with the functioning of Bihar Vikas Mission (BVM). He has to report to Kishor, a key member of BVM holding the rank of a Cabinet minister. BVM was created to ensure Nitish’s seven resolves for Bihar are implemented on priority.
“With a parallel administrative structure, the government is going beyond established rules of executive business. This has created a strong resentment among IAS officers,” said BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
Nitish is all praise for Kishor’s exemplary work and vision. Some JD(U) leaders say that the CM wants to keep Kishor engaged till the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.