Tuesday, August, 16,2022

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Gandhinagar: In just 61 days of his taking over the charge of the ‘powerful’ post of the Chief Minister of Gujarat, a Narendra ModiAmit Shah choice, Bhupendra Patel creates a new hope to bring back the saffron party to power in 2022 assembly polls.

According to political observers, with his grassroot personality, a clear image, integrity and a straight forward approach, a low profile and media shy Patel virtually gives a new life to the political and bureaucratic circles of Gujarat.

In fact, now has proved to be a welcome change at Gandhinagar. In his new ‘scheme of things and governance model’, Patel has carefully chosen to give a complete free hand in the running of CMO to a Narendra Modi trusted K.

Kailashnathan to choose his working team which includes a dynamic face Pankaj Joshi, ACS CM and a lady IAS Secretary to the Chief Minister Avantika Singh Aulakh, a smiling face to handle Gujarat’s troubled media.

This has brought a new look to Patel’s CMO.

The main job of the team is to ‘assist’ the Chief Minister to work out a suitable strategy to convert the civil administration into a resultoriented machinery to bring back yet another 5-year tenure for the ruling BJP in Gujarat.

With the arrival of a ‘proactive’ state BJP chief CR Patil there is a new sense of enthusiasm among the party workers and CR’s excellent coordination with the new CM Patel makes a perfect team to take on the opposition in 2022.

However, there is a growing ‘sense and concern’ of a day-to-day interference of the party chief CR’s in the matters of governance though a top bureaucrat still holds that there is no interference of the party chief in the decision making process of CMO and the postings of IAS and IPS officers which are being entirely done by the Chief Minister, in consultation with his principal aide Kailashnathan and the Chief Secretary Pankaj Kumar


There is also a speculation at Gandhinagar Secretariat about the arrival of a new Chief Secretary on or before May 2022, when the present incumbent retires.

According to a reliable input, the name of Raj Kumar who has been recently repatriated back to his parent cadre, Gujarat from the coveted post of Secretary, Defence (Production) in the Union government, is being seriously considered for the new Chief Secretary.

However, till the retirement of the present CS, Raj Kumar may be appointed as ACS Home, which at present is as additional charge with Rajiv Gupta, ACS Industries and Mining. In this way, a well-coordinated bureaucratic team of KK and the new CS will carry forward new CM Patel’s agenda in the state.

According to sources, one of the main tasks before the Chief Minister is to restore the credibility and image of the chief minister’s office, which has been tarnished a bit during Vijay Rupani’s tenure and fingers were raised about the ‘proximity’ of the former CM with the real estate lobby and also some complaints about an alleged ‘remote control influence’ of his wife Anjali in the matters of state.

One of the reasons for the change of leadership in Gujarat was a feedback to the central leadership about a growing antiincumbency factor related to the style and functioning of Vijay Rupani.

However, after his exit from 6, Minister Enclave, a high profile Rupani has suddenly gone low profile. After interacting with a couple of relevant persons in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad on Monday, I also noticed a new sense of confidence and enthusiasm in the higher bureaucracy, which enjoys a complete functional free hand under the leadership of a silent performer and the new CM Patel.

Gujarat is now curiously looking up to October-November 2022 assembly polls but still there is a talk in Ahmedabad and New Delhi about a likely early assembly polls in March-April along with other 5 states, including Uttar Pradesh.

But keeping in mind a top secret style of functioning of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, no one in Gandhinagar Secretariat has any clue about it.

However, looking to the mood of the voters in the recent Gandhinagar municipal corporation polls, BJP is all set to dominate the show in 2022 polls.


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