GOVT: Modi's loyal 'Babus' heading to Delhi

Vol 18, PW 15 (26 Mar 15) People & Policy

Gujarat principal secretary Girish Chandra Murmu once faced allegations of perverting the course of justice.

So it's with some concern we hear the Modi loyalist and strongman is among several IAS officers moving from Gujarat to as-yet-unknown new positions in Modi's Delhi administration. Approval for Murmu’s transfer came this month (March).

He joined the IAS in 1985 and today reports directly to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel. By chance Murmu, 54, is from Orissa, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s home state, raising the possibility he might end up in the oil ministry.

“Murmu gets on well with Pradhan,” says a source. After the infamous Gujarat riots in 2002, Murmu was caught on tape threatening senior police officer RB Sreekumar who challenged Modi’s government.

He again courted controversy when in November 2011 he was caught on tape instructing police and government officials over a case involving the June 2004 shooting of Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan, gunned down with three others in Ahmedabad by Gujarat police on the pretext she was a terrorist planning an attack on Modi. Two other Gujarat IAS officers close to Modi are also preparing for Delhi: Raj Kumar, principal secretary agriculture and cooperation and RP Gupta, principal secretary civil supplies.

Other Modi loyalists transferred to Delhi over the past 10 months include former GSPC managing director Tapan Ray; former GSPC director Hasmukh Adhia and Gauri Kumar.

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