New Delhi: Junior ministers and senior bureaucrats in the Home Ministry are having jitters over a workaholic Home Minister Amit Shah staying put in the office from 9.30 am up to 7-8 pm everyday. Unlike his predecessor Rajnath Singh, who used to go home for lunch and conduct any leftover meetings, even political meetings, only at home, Shah calls lunch from home to have it in office and prefers to hold all meetings at his office Room No 104 in the North Block. He tried to be democratic by distributing work of the ministry's 22 division to his two ministers of state -- G Kishan Reddy and Nityanand Rai -- except for keeping the Intelligence Bureau (IB) with himself.
Officials, however, say these junior ministers are just one more layer to deal with the files since they all are finally put up before Shah for the decisions. Earlier, the files used to go to the home minister straight from the secretaries but now they are routed through the junior ministers. After all, only Shah can put the matters before the Cabinet for approvals and so the ministers of state have to just go through the files and clear them to remain aware of matters as they will have to answer the questions concerning the ministry in Parliament.
Since Shah does not leave office before 7 or 8 pm, these junior ministers are also forced to stay put, lest they are not available when Shah calls them for any clarifications. Much more hard pressed are the senior bureaucrats since they have to reach the office much earlier to be ready with the briefings that Shah demands every day at 10 am, himself arriving between 9.30 and 9.45 am.