Gujarat Tenure Ending Soon, Delhi Beckons K K in Modi 3.0?

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Gujarat Tenure Ending Soon, Delhi Beckons K Kailashnathan in Modi 3.0?

| Updated: June 3, 2024 10:51

The recurring news of K Kailashnathan getting an extension as the Chief Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Gujarat in December 2023, was a habitual annual affair that offered no surprise to anyone anymore. After all, it was happening for the 11th time in succession. It however, hid an unusual element, which went unnoticed. For the first time since the mighty Malayalee was appointed a Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Gujarat, his service was extended for six months, instead of a year.

As the term of Kailashnathan comes to an end in the coming days, speculations are on as to what awaits him. It is pertinent to note that the end of the present tenure of Kailashnathan coincides with the formation of a new government in Delhi. With an extremely high probability of Narendra Modi returning as Prime Minister for the third consecutive term, would it be safe to presume that a larger role at the national level avaits KK in Delhi?

Dr. PK Mishra, an IAS officer of the 1972 batch, was appointed as the sole principal secretary to the Prime Minister of India on September 11, 2019. With the election of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India in 2014, Mishra was appointed as the Additional Principal Secretary with the rank and status of Cabinet Minister. When Narendra Modi became the PM again in 2019, Mishra was re-appointed as Additional Principal Secretary to the PM.

K Kailashnathan and Dr. PK Mishra, both Gujarat Cadre IAS, are the two bureaucrats whom Narendra Modi has steadfastly relied upon for over 20 years. Very few bureaucrats can boast of having gained the unwavering trust of a prime minister the way K. Kailashnathan and Dr. P. K. Mishra have managed to gain that of Prime Minister Modi. Both have been an integral yet largely hidden part of PM Modi’s journey to the highest echelons of power.

Dr P K Mishra was on a visit to Gujarat, recently. He is turning 76 in August this year. Can 71-year-old K Kailshnathan, replace him at Delhi during Modi 3.0? Modi’s new term, if it happens, will be very crucial, with far-reaching implications for the country’s future.

Kuniyil Kailashnathan, an officer in the old world mould, is referred to with awe and deference as K K in the corridors of power. He is one of the most powerful bureaucrats in post-Congress India. It goes to underline the importance and the mattle of K. Kailashnathan that he has remained a trusted officer of four Chief Ministers, Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel, Vijay Rupani, and Bhupendra Patel.

The quintessential bureaucrat, K. Kailashnathan, retired on May 31, 2013 after serving the Gujarat cadre for 33 years in the post of Additional Chief Secretary in Gujarat. The impressively low-key civil servant was appointed as Chief Principal Secretary, a post created for him. At present, K Kailashnathan is overseeing the politically delicate and ambitious Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram redevelopment work as chairman of the Executive Council of the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram Memorial Trust (SGAMT).

K Kailashnathan started his career in 1981 as the assistant collector after being selected for the civil service. He had been the collector of Surendra Nagar in 1985 and Surat in 1987. He was also Commissioner of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation from 1999 to 2001. Chairman, Steering Committee of the BRTS Project, was another important posting in his career.

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