Many moons ago, the Siyaram Group of garments earned eyeballs for their campaign titled Coming Home. In short, it meant everyone is comfortable in the corner of what they consider their home, the world’s safest spot.
As India gears up for its elections, a very powerful bureaucrat in the Indian Capital is planning his post-retirement plans. So who is this Bihar cadre IAS officer, now a top secretary, all set to walk into his sunset time in three months only to emerge and join the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav?
Apparently the decks have all been clear to get this very powerful bureaucrat to welcome into RJD.
The IAS officer – for long – has been a confidante of Yadav and enjoyed benefits around mid-90s when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the CM of Bihar. The IAS officer was then a District Magistrate, and reportedly took orders from Yadav. There are reports that he even organised election booths to help give access to goons hired by Yadav’s party. Remember, those were the days when there were no Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and booth capturing was a norm, as evident in states like Bihar, West Bengal and parts of UP (Uttar Pradesh).
Once his assignment was over in Bihar, this IAS officer shifted to Delhi to emerge as a confidante of P Chidambaram – then very powerful – but now being probed by both ED (Enforcement Directorate) & CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). The two engineered big-time manipulation of stock market and commodity markets for their masters. He, along with another bureaucrat, Ajay Shah (now thoroughly exposed) worked as the super computer for PC.
Such was this Bihar cadre IAS officer’s manipulative and penetrative powers – he was ably helped by fellow bureaucrats from Odisha – that he almost walked into the seat of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) Chairman till PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) was alerted by some thinking MPs (Member of Parliament) from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). If he had been selected for the post, the bureaucrat’s vice-like grip would have crippled, virtually destroyed the market regulator.
There was an air of finality, a feeling of invincibility that helped this officer become very useful for politicians to do their dirty deeds. What is important is that these very bureaucrats work behind the scenes to help their political masters when the latter are out of power.
And now that the time is up for retirement, it is time to return to the Master’s Home. What is sad is that very few remember the destruction this officer caused to some of India’s vibrant institutions, some of India’s finest markets.