Fate of pvt secretaries hangs in balance

With the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) reportedly not keen on retaining private secretaries of UPA ministers, the fate of some officers serving in same capacity with NDA ministers like Rajnath Singh are in limbo.

The government had put out a directive on June 10 putting 22 officers, who had served as private secretaries or officers on special duty (OSDs) during UPA regime on “compulsory wait” until further orders.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has appointed UP cadre IPS officer Alok Singh, who was private secretary to former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and then minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor, in his team but now his fate is uncertain as the PMO is learnt to have put on hold his appointment.

Sources said HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad and Minister of State in PMO Jitender Singh, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju and MoS of External Affairs V K Singh have also appointed private secretaries who had served in the same  capacity during UPA regime. 

Though appointment of these secretaries are put on hold, they could retain their positions if the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) clears it. Meanwhile, Alok Singh has proceeded on leave and M A Ganapathy has been told to assist the minister till a formal order is issued.

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