New Delhi: PM Modi's Principal Advisor PK Sinha has resigned – on what were stated to be personal grounds. Any untimely exit from PMO is bound to create a buzz, especially since the former Cabinet Secretary was with the PMO for 18 months.
Incidentally, the post of Principal Advisor to PM was especially created to accommodate Sinha in the Prime Minister's Office in 2019. The appointment order had said his tenure as Principal Adviser to PM Modi would be co-terminus with the term of the Prime Minister.
But while a post was created for Sinha, he had been functioning without any official rank, unlike his colleagues PK Mishra and Ajit Doval, who were both given cabinet rank. A former Gujarat cadre officer, Mishra is the Principal Secretary to the PM while NSA Doval is a former Kerala cadre IPS officer.
Sinha was not just the senior most bureaucrat in the government, -- having had the longest tenure as Cabinet Secretary for over four years, with three extensions – he was also the most experienced. The 1977 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer belonged to the Uttar Pradesh cadre.
Sinha was at PM Modi's side during his first term, as Cabinet Secretary. When he retired in 2019, the year PM Modi returned to power, he was taken into the PM's Office as Officer on Special Duty. After Nripendra Misra, another top bureaucrat, moved out of PMO, Sinha was appointed Principal Adviser.
OUR BUREAU ADDS: Though no reasons were cited for Sinha's exit, the grapevine has it that he may become the 22nd Delhi Lt Governor and succeed incumbent Anil Baijal (74) whose five-year term is ending.
Baijal, a former union home secretary and a 1969 batch officer, has served the government for 37 years; he was appointed as the Lt Governor on December 31, 2016, following the sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung, also a retired IAS officer.