Mumbai: Newly appointed Mumbai police commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar during a press conference in Mumbai on Sunday. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade(PTI1_31_2016_000039A)
Mumbai: Newly appointed Mumbai police commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar during a press conference in Mumbai on Sunday. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade(PTI1_31_2016_000039A)

New Delhi: Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar, a 1982 batch IPS officer, is a strong contender to be the new Intelligence Bureau (IB) director, though his appointment will necessitate shifting of the agency’s special director Rajiv Jain who is senior to him as a 1980 batch IPS officer of Jharkhand cadre. Padsalgikar was also a special director in the IB before appointment as Mumbai”s top cop.\ There should, however, be no surprise if another special director S K Sinha (Bihar: 1983), junior to both, pips them to get the coveted post as he is an expert on Kashmir issues and counter-terrorism and fits into Prime Minister Modi”s continuous focus on Kashmir and terror.

The Prime Minister has to pick up in the next two weeks the heads of both IB and external spy agency RAW as both IB chief Dineshwar Sharma and RAW secretary Rajinder Khanna are retiring on December 31. There was speculation earlier that both Sharma and Khanna may get extension but the PMO has asked the Home Ministry to send names for naming their successors.

Anil Kumar Dhasmana, a 1981-batch IPS officer, is among those short-listed to head the external spy wing. He is presently a special secretary at the cabinet secretariat. The Prime Minister remains the final authority in the selection. Considering the political situation and the threats from inside and outside, the PM has to pick persons who have greater coordination in handling the sensitive matters.

Everyone is, however, keeping fingers crossed on Modi”s final decision, particularly after he appointed Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as the interim CBI director despite the fact that the government had begun the selection process five months ago. This is for the first time in 10 years that the CBI lacks a full-time chief.

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