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All eyes set on where Sharma will be taken

By IndianMandarins- 12 Jan 2021
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New Delhi (12.01.2021): The turbocharged acceptance of the sudden VRS application of Union MSME Secretary Arvind Kumar Sharma (IAS:1988:GJ), reputed for his old-fashioned ways of financial, intellectual, and personal integrity, may indicate that the officer, who is nicknamed 'Hanuman' of the NDA administration, maybe probably tasked with a certain responsibility that mandates a time gap between the current and future assignments.

What exactly that assignment may be is known only to the prima donna of the administration. But the speed of the sudden development has made the power corridors abuzz with speculations about Sharma's future role.

While a razor-thin negative possibility can't be totally ruled out in view of the changing and evolving dynamics of power all the time, officers seem to be sure that Sharma has been picked up for something big.

What's that big job hanging around?

Is it the LG Delhi job? Then it may also mean that a new CS for Delhi may be picked up from the 1989 IAS batch, a year junior to Sharma to avoid hierarchical bad blood.

As imaginations run wild, he is also seen becoming part of the Union Cabinet.

At the more mundane level, he is seen being appointed as a UPSC member or PESB chairman. But these positions don't necessitate resignation from the existing job.

However, talk about Sharma being made a CVC member as a stop-gap measure to make him the Chief Vigilance Commissioner may seem more convincing.

At the same time, officials don't rule out the possibility of Sharma being made Governor of West Bengal or Maharashtra - the two states where the central NDA administration is facing a lot of political hostility as it maneuvers its course to win the forthcoming assembly election in the former and to destabilize the MVA administration in the latter.

J&K's LG post could be another possibility since Manoj Sinha has already completed the first phase of the political process by way of successfully holding the DDC and Panchayat Samiti elections. So the job may not seem that difficult in the state for executing the next phase of the political process to hold assembly elections.

Since Manoj Sinha is seen as a man who quietly put the threads of indigenous development of 4G and 5G technologies together, so the discussion goes, he may be recalled to the Union Cabinet to roll out his successful venture in the telecom sector - to give him his due.

Whatever, the fact remains that the bond of camaraderie between Sharma and PM Narendra Modi is built over the past two decades, or rather from the day Modi became the CM of Gujarat in 2001. The two have been together except when Sharma went for a study course to Australia. It is said that Sharma's skills as an efficient administrator - an example of which is turning the Vibrant Gujarat summits into internationally-acclaimed business events - immensely helped Modi grow from the CM to the PM. Insiders also say that he was also the point man to deal with US and British officials to ensure that they delisted Modi from their travel restriction list.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

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