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Ex IAS Kailashnathan bids adieu to Gujarat CM office where he served for 11 years after retirement on multiple extensions

Considered a close confidante of prime minister Narendra Modi, 71-year-old Kailasanathan was one of the most powerful bureaucrats who is also considered to be the link between bureaucracy and politics.
Last Updated : 29 June 2024, 21:49 IST

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Ahmedabad: 1979-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Kuniyil Kailashnathan, popularly known as KK, on Saturday bid adieu to the chief minister's office (CMO) where he served for a record 18 years, out of which the last 11 years was as the chief principal secretary on multiple extensions following his superannuation in 2013.

Considered a close confidante of prime minister Narendra Modi, 71-year-old Kailasanathan was one of the most powerful bureaucrats who is also considered to be the link between bureaucracy and politics. After joining CMO in 2006 when prime minister Narendra Modi was serving as a chief minister, his clout kept growing and was hailed as "eyes and ears" of PM Modi in Gujarat.

In 2013, Kailashnathan retired but a special in the CMO, chief principal secretary, was created to retain him. He was kept in the government on extensions, making him serve four chief ministers, including Modi, Anandiben Patel, Vijay Rupani and Bhupendra Patel. Despite repeated attempts, Kailashnathan didn't respond for comments.

"After Modi became the prime minister in 2014, Kailashnathan started leading the core group of bureaucrats who were running the state and emerged as more powerful than the elected representatives," said a retired bureaucrat who requested not to be quoted.

Officially announcing the end of his term in Gujarat bureaucracy, Chief Minister Patel described him as someone whose "administrative skills, keen sense of public issues and tactful working style remained prominent features throughout his tenure."

Patel wrote this on his X account where he also announced, "K Kailashnathan is retiring voluntarily from my office from June 30. He had joined the CM office in 2006 as additional secretary during the tenure of prime minister Narendra Modi as chief minister. In 2013, after retiring as additional chief secretary, he rendered his services for more than a decade as principal chief secretary....My best wishes to Kailasantanji for a healthy and fit life."

Sources in the government said that he will continue to lead the redevelopment of Sabarmati Ashram, a controversial project, and chairman of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited. Originally a Malyali, he grew up in Ooty where his father worked in the postal department.

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Published 29 June 2024, 21:49 IST

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