Sundareshan rumour

Vol 14, PW 19 (24 Mar 11) News in Brief

Once again rumours are circulating that oil secretary S.

Sundareshan will be replaced. This time the word is out that he’ll be gone after the budget session of parliament ends on April 21.

PETROWATCH learns this is no reflection on Sundareshan’s ability, but stems from oil minister Jaipal Reddy’s wish for a secretary of his choice. “Sundareshan was the choice of (former oil minister) Murli Deora,” we hear.

“Reddy wants Navin Kumar as oil secretary.” Since July last year, Kumar has been secretary in the urban development ministry, Reddy’s former brief.

Reddy is said to be “comfortable” working with Kumar and worked with him also between 2004 and 2006 at the information and broadcasting ministry. But Sundareshan will be difficult to remove from the oil ministry, as he joined the civil service from Kerala, like cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar, who strongly supports the “Kerala lobby.

” Sundareshan retires in October next year, and Kumar retires in August next year.