No surprise GSPC chief Singh spurns Delhi post

Vol 20, PW 8 (12 Jan 17) People & Policy

He might have earlier harboured ambitions to head to the capital Delhi but it's now become clear that JN Singh prefers to remain in Gujarat with more prestige and power instead of becoming another central government drone.

GSPC chairman and managing director Singh, 58, who as chief secretary is also Gujarat's most powerful bureaucrat, was promoted for a federal position in Delhi by the cabinet's appointments committee on December 16, 2016. "But Singh is clear about what he wants," says a Gandhinagar source.

"Rather than becoming one of many secretaries in the vast ocean that is Delhi he prefers to be top boss in Gandhinagar." Don't forget Singh's close rapport with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani who took charge in August 2016. "Rupani won't allow Singh to go to Delhi," adds another government source.

"If everybody goes to Delhi who will run Gujarat?" Many senior IAS officers defected to Delhi soon after Narendra Modi took power, among them former GSPC managing director Atanu Chakraborty who moved in April 2016 following his appointment as DGH boss. Further, with Gujarat elections scheduled for end-2017 the chief minister will not want to lose his right-hand man Singh who is also playing a key role organising the Vibrant Gujarat summit from January 10 to 13.

Singh is also needed in Gandhinagar to finalise GSPC's 80% sale in NELP-III block KG-OSN-2001/3 to ONGC.