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New pointsman

The PM is a tough task-master, and demands efficiency, sincerity, and secrecy from his officials. However, when he trusts someone, he seldom allows the person to leave. With the resignation of PMO’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra, Modi had to make the tough decision of choosing a successor. His choice was Pramod Kumar Mishra, a 1972-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre. At the same time, he appointed former Cabinet Secretary, PK Sinha, a 1977-batch IAS officer of the UP cadre, as Principal Advisor. This suited everyone, as the bureaucratic seniority was maintained, and an official with more experience didn’t have to report to one with a lesser one. Mishra has worked with Modi since the latter took over as Chief Minister of Gujarat. Those who deal with the PMO are aware that Mishra was responsible for handling key postings and appointments at the central level, including those within the judiciary. Still, there was a need for another experienced hand, which was filled by Sinha. The bio of Sinha, which was uploaded at Narendramodi.in states, “At the State Government level, Shri Sinha has held various assignments such as District Magistrate of Jaunpur and Agra, Commissioner of Varanasi, Secretary (Planning) and Principal Secretary (Irrigation), etc. He has served for many years in the Central Government – mainly in the Energy and Infrastructure Sectors, such as, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Ministry of Power, and Ministry of Shipping. He has specialized in the areas of Energy, Infrastructure, and Finance”. It is understood that Sinha may look after areas like petroleum and natural gas, power and shipping. But he may have an additional and important responsibility – he may have to take over Nripendra Misra’s earlier role to help the Prime Minister handle the UP bureaucracy. The two PKs are now in control.

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