Mulayam tells PMO how to select new DGH boss

Vol 13, PW 16 (28 Jan 10) People & Policy
     

Former wrestler and current Samajwadi Party strongman Mulayam Singh Yadav (left) is taking a very personal interest in the selection of a new director general at the DGH.

PETROWATCH learns Yadav wrote to the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) on November 12 expressing surprise that outgoing oil secretary RS Pandey was heading the selection committee. “The oil ministry is treating this as an in-house affair!â€‌ writes Yadav.

Instead of Pandey, Yadav calls on the PMO to appoint cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar to head the search committee. He also said the committee should include the PMO principal secretary and the oil and Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT) secretaries.

“I am sure the government does not want a repeat of what happened with Sibal,â€‌ adds Yadav, referring to former DGH boss VK Sibal who stepped down in October amid a swirl of damaging allegations. “I request you to please issue directions to the oil ministry accordingly.

â€‌ Yadav, who is also chairman of the parliament standing committee on energy, seems to have been granted his wish. On January 11, the Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT) forwarded Yadav’s letter to the oil ministry.

And on January 22, a well-placed source at the DOPT confirms to this report that cabinet secretary Chandrasekhar will indeed head the selection committee, which also includes the DOPT secretary, the oil secretary and the science and technology department secretary. Separately, we learn the DOPT has short-listed six candidates for interview: interim DGH chief SK Srivastava, Oil India chief advisor exploration S.

Rath, former ONGC director offshore NK Mitra and three other ONGC candidates. Many industry veterans express surprise that Mitra has applied.

“I thought he was with Reliance,â€‌ says a source. Whatever his affiliation, Mitra stands little chance of becoming the new DGH boss because like Sibal, he too went out under a cloud! “Srivastava stands the most chance,â€‌ we hear.

“He is already acting DG and is the most senior of all who applied.â€‌