Gujarat bureaucrat slated to join PM's team

 Another senior bureaucrat from Gujarat is expected to get a key role in the Centre.
Varesh Sinha, who retired as the chief secretary of Gujarat on October 31, is in the running for the Lok Sabha secretary general’s post.

The 1977 batch IAS officer is considered to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was home secretary and finance secretary in the Gujarat government.

Sinha, who is known to be a taskmaster, set up monthly targets for key schemes Modi implemented as chief minister. The Gujarat-cadre IAS officer took over as the chief secretary of Gujarat on January 31 last year and was superannuated on April 30 this year. He was given two three-month extensions before he demitted office on October 31.

If Sinha’s appointment as Lok Sabha secretary general comes through, he would join a long list of bureaucrats from Gujarat who have been moved to the Centre since Modi became prime minister on May 26. The secretary general of the Lower House, a post currently held by P K Grover, enjoys the rank of the Cabinet secretary. Grover was granted an extension till the month-end on November 3.

Hasmukh Adhia, the additional chief secretary in the Gujarat government, was appointed as secretary of financial Services in the Union Ministry of Finance earlier this month.

Other officers who relocated to Delhi since Modi became prime minister include Arvind Sharma and Sanjay Bhavsar, who are in the Prime Minister’s Office, Rajesh Kishore in the National Human Rights Commission, H K Dash in the Inter-State Council in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Guruprasad Mohapatra in the Ministry of Commerce.

The prime minister’s additional principal secretary P K Mishra, a retired Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, served as principal secretary to Modi when he was chief minister in 2001-04.

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