How This IAS Officer Made a Powerful Entry into PM's Cabinet
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The third cabinet reshuffle on Sunday witnessed nine new faces bagging big portfolios in the PM Modi-led government. This might be the last reshuffle in the Cabinet before the Modi government heads for the 2019 general elections. The most important portfolio was given to Nirmala Sitharaman who became India’s second woman to lead the Defence ministry.
Raj Kumar Singh, the Former Home Secretary of India, sworn in as MoS, with independent charge of power and new and renewable energy. He joins the list of four former bureaucrats who have sworn in as ministers in the latest cabinet shuffle. The former Indian bureaucrat is a member of the Indian Parliament from Arrah, Bihar since May 2014. Singh is a law graduate and also holds an English Literature degree from St. Stephens, Delhi.
The 1975 batch IAS officer from Bihar cadre is also known for arresting BJP leader L.K. Advani in 1990 after halting his famous Rath Yatra which was en route to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh from Somnath in Gujarat. At that time he was the district magistrate of Samastipur under the Lalu Prasad Yadav government.
Entrepreneur India takes a look at few qualities that make Singh a great leader.
A Winning Attitude is Key to Success
There was speculation that Singh would contest from the Bihar constituencies of either Arrah or Supaul in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, though Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh objected to him contesting from Supaul. On 13 December 2013, Singh joined the BJP. He contested the election as a BJP candidate in Arrah, beating his nearest rival by a margin of over 135,000 votes.
In his noteworthy career, Singh has been a part of multiple roles under the UPA and NDA government. In 2006, after the Nitish Kumar government came to power, Singh, as principal secretary of the road construction department, was given major credit for making way for the development of road infrastructure in Bihar.
In the National Democratic Alliance-led government, the then Home Minister, Advani selected Singh to work as a joint secretary in the Home Ministry for a tenure of five years (1999 – 2004). He was also Union Home Secretary of India from 30 June 2011 to 30 June 2013, after which he took retirement from the service. In 2013, the then Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led wanted to rope in Singh as an advisor on infrastructure development. However, Singh declined the offer. Defence minister A.K. Antony had also picked Singh as the next defence secretary after Pradeep Kumar retired on July 31.
In his new role, Singh will have to ensure affordable, quality and sustainable power. He also needs to meet the targets set up by predecessor Piyush Goyal in last three years.
A No-Nonsense Officer
Known for his no-nonsense attitude, Singh was a close aide of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram. During his tenure as the Union home secretary, 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru were hanged. Singh courted a controversy when he criticized the then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde after joining BJP. He revealed Shinde's involvement in the IPL Spotfixing case and how Shinde had interfered in that investigation.