There was a time during Manmohan Singh’s regime, when a majority of the bureaucrats in the ministries were either Kerala-born or of the Kerala cadre. Former Cabinet Secretary KM Chandra Shekhar and Principal Secretary TKA Nair were instrumental in playing a pivotal role in this. But the dominance of the Kerala cadre did not last long. With AK Seth coming in as the new Cabinet Secretary and Pulok Chatterjee appointed as the PM’s Principal Secretary in UPA1, UP cadre officers got a chance at their place in the sun. Again, the game has changed with the new government. But the most powerful secretaries still come from Kerala. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is from Kerala and so is the new Intelligence Bureau chief, Dineshwar Sharma. The unceremonious exit of Home Secretary Anil Goswami, sources disclosed, led to discussions in the PMO on who should succeed him. Everybody had their own candidates. Petroleum Secretary Saurabh Shukla was said to be the front-runner. But Doval was for the Rural Development Secretary, LC Goyal, a Kerala-cadre officer. And, of course, Goyal was appointed the new Home Secretary. Everybody in the PMO knows that Doval means business.