"Holiday for Union Cabinet meeting"
That was what an SMS said. It brought much relief to the private secretaries of our union ministers. Why holiday? Because the PM is away for the G20 meeting and Pranab Mukherjee, who convenes urgent meetings in the PM’s absence, has become the presidential candidate.
Arun Bhatnagar, a now retired civil servant who was close to NDA, remained even closer to UPA and held the key post of secretary general of the National Advisory Council (NAC). His understanding of national politics is respected. Also his reading of internal politicking of politicians in Madhya Pradesh, be it of BJP or Congress, remains top class. Insiders say that when Bhatnagar requested that his brother-in-law Dilip Choudhary be posted as secretary, steel, the powers that be immediately got a note issued to DoPT.
Note on rating improves bureaucrat’s rating
A secretary to the government of India prepared a six-page top secret note on the topic of economic downturn and the rating downgrade and sent it to cabinet secretary Ajit Seth. This secretary has handled export-import policies and his note focused on the decrease of coal exports due to apex court rulings and also due to political interference of BJP and Congress leaders from Karnataka.
Insiders say Seth promptly called up the secretary and asked him to withdraw the note. The secretary who penned the note felt let down but he still went ahead and wrote to Manmohan Singh and Montek Singh Ahluwalia. To his surprise, PMO patted him and called him for half an hour interaction with the PM.
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