Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Senior IAS officer Rajeev Topno was today appointed Private Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as the government cleared the names of private secretaries to two of his cabinet colleagues after having put on hold some of these appointments.

Topno, a 1996 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre who was already working as Director in the Prime Minister’s Office, has been appointed Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, according to an official order issued today .

IAS officers Sameer Verma and B V R C Purushottam have been appointed PS to Uma Bharati, Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and M Venkaiah Naidu, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, respectively.

Verma is a 2002 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre and Purushottam is a 2004 batch IAS officer of Uttarakhand cadre.

The orders for appointment of Verma and Purushottam were issued yesterday following approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).

Their tenure will be co-terminus with that of the ministers, the order said.

A controversy has erupted after the appointment of PS to three Union Minister, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, a decision which was put on hold.

Rajnath Singh has proposed IPS officer Alok Singh, who had served in the same capacity to Salman Khurshid as  External Affairs Minister during UPA rule, as his PS. However, Alok Singh’s appointment was not cleared by Modi, official sources said.

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