|Diplomat Jaimini Bhagwati with wife Rita|
Lok Sabha polls. In fact, Bhagwati had hinted during his farewell functions in UK in September that he might go full-time in politics post-retirement. Media reports quoting Bhagwati, the then Indian high commissioner to UK, said he was not intending to join any think-tank or write more articles on economic issues. He might land up “in the public space”.
Bhagwati had recently interacted with Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, leading to speculations in political circle in the state that the former diplomat might join the Congress and even fight the Lok Sabha poll from a seat in the northern bank of Brahmaputra.
A 1976 batch IFS officer, Bhagwati served in Union finance ministry in India and World Bank in Washington, apart from being India’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU.
Meanwhile, a number of serving bureaucrats have expressed their surprise when they came to know that RK Singh (1975 batch IAS) and RS Pandey (1972 batch IAS) chose to join the BJP. After all, both the officers held key positions in the UPA ministries and were in fact not a part of the so-called disgruntled secretary brigade. After joining the BJP on last Friday, Singh said he joined the party for its hard-line nationalist positions on national security.
In fact, Singh and Pandey had closely worked in the past. Former Nagaland cadre IAS, Pandey was appointed as interlocutor for the government-NSCN (IM) talks and in that connection he worked with the then home secretary Singh. Pandey has resigned as interlocutor of the Naga peace talks.
Meanwhile, another former bureaucrat and retired railways officer Dharam Singh too joined the BJP on Friday in presence of the party president Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. Are there be more in the pipeline? Just wait and watch as the election countdown will begin shortly.