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By the Way

Petroleum to polls


Two former Petroleum Secretaries are set to jump into the electoral fray. RS Pandey, a 1972-batch IAS officer of the Nagaland cadre, and HK Khan, a 1956-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre are both helping the BJP. Pandey quit as the Centre’s interlocutor for the talks with the NSCN (IM) and joined the BJP as he is likely to contest the Lok Sabha election from Bihar. He belongs to a political family; his father-in-law, Kedar Pandey, was former Chief Minister of Bihar and State Railways Minister. The BJP feels that his candidature will send the right message about the party choosing sincere and upright candidates. Khan, former Chief Secretary of Gujarat and the Petroleum Secretary, is being fielded in his home state. He is in touch with the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi. According to sources, Modi has met Khan several times in a posh Delhi hotel. Khan has considerable clout not only in Gujarat but also in the very powerful petroleum sector lobby. His candidature is a pointer to how not only Modi but his other supporters too are wooing the Muslim intelligentsia across the country.

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