BC Tripathi speculation gathers pace

Vol 22, PW 7 (24 Jan 19) News in Brief

If anyone can manage another extension after 10 years in the job it's GAIL chairman BC Tripathi.

Not only did he manage an extension for a second full-term under Congress Party rule but also managed to stay at GAIL during BJP rule - a testament to his excellent networking skills. Born on January 12, 1960, Tripathi completes 10 years as GAIL chairman on July 31 (2019).

To stay on until retirement, he needs a six-month extension until January 31 (2020). A source tells us Tripathi, the only GAIL chairman to have completed two consecutive five-year terms, has an excellent equation with PK Mishra, additional principal secretary in the PMO and arguably among the country's most powerful bureaucrats .

Mishra is key in the selection of chairmen and directors at state-owned companies. "Elections are this year," adds our source.

"Who in government has time to appoint a new chairman? Tripathi is good at maintaining relationships." Tripathi's first five-year term ran from August 1, 2009 to July 31, 2014.

"At first he clashed with the (BJP) establishment," we hear. "But now he has a good relationship with (oil minister Dharmendra) Pradhan.

A six-month extension won't be a problem."