Tripathi back at work with Amit Shah's help

Vol 19, PW 12 (25 Feb 16) People & Policy

GAIL chairman BC Tripathi is back at work and some say it's because of a successful meeting with BJP party president Amit Shah.

Tripathi set tongues wagging when he absented himself from work between January 18 and February 9. Some said he was sick but many wondered if it was because nearly seven months have passed since the end of his one-year probation on July 31, 2015.

Tripathi has still not received confirmation he can stay. A well-placed source tells us the real story is that oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan asked Tripathi to resign as GAIL chairman for an extremely dull job: as head of the oil ministry's MoU committee responsible for preparing annual targets for state-owned oil companies.

"Tripathi wasn't interested so he made an excuse on health grounds and took leave," says our government source. "During his time off he managed to convince Amit Shah to let him stay on at GAIL.

" But colleagues say this is a temporary reprieve, that Tripathi's anxiety is all too evident from his demeanour. "He comes in for one or two hours only," says a GAIL source.

"He has review meetings with one or two departments and then leaves the office." Tripathi also seems to be avoiding the oil ministry.

Earlier he used to visit the ministry twice or thrice a week to update oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan.