Tussle with Rajnath Singh led to Goyal's ouster, say MHA sources

Tussle with Rajnath Singh led to Goyal's ouster, say MHA sources

Tussle with Rajnath Singh led to Goyal's ouster, say MHA sources

Heads continued to roll in the Ministry of Home Affairs as L C Goyal was replaced by Rajiv Mehrishi as the home secretary. Also A K Singh, considered close to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, was transferred to the petroleum ministry.

The shifting of Additional Secretary Singh, with whom Goyal had a running battle, to the petroleum ministry in a reshuffle in which 35 additional secretaries and joint secretaries got new assignments is also seen as a balancing act by the Union home minister.

Rajnath Singh wanted Goyal out as he was ignoring political bosses and throwing rule books at every opportunity.

A top ministry source said Goyal also changed portfolios of senior officials without the knowledge of the home minister, which was one of the reasons for discord between Singh and Goyal.

“I don't want to say anything beyond what I said yesterday (that he taking VRS is his own decision)," Goyal was quoted by PTI as saying when asked for his reaction.
Sources said Goyal had recently ordered change in the assignments of two additional secretaries and a joint secretary without consulting Singh, who overturned the decision.

A section of senior officials had also complained to the home minister that several proposals were turned down by Goyal at the initial stage itself without consulting the minister. This led to further discord between the Singh and Goyal.

Sources also said the atmosphere was hotting up for the past two weeks for Goyal's removal and the last straw came when the home secretary changed the portfolio of a joint secretary handling the disaster management division without informing  the seniors.

This prompted the home minister to discuss the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and decide the next course of action. Modi concurred with Singh and Mehrishi, a Rajasthan cadre IAS officer who was in the race for the post of the cabinet secretary, was chosen for the job as he was preparing to hang his boot.

Goyal, who has an unblemished record, is accused of showing rule books at every opportunity and refused to go ahead with proposals despite instructions from the political leadership, sources said.

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