|Jagan Reddy in a rally|
relieved him as yet because of pending departmental inquiries against him. A Times of India report quoted Rao as saying that if the government of Gujarat objects to his quitting the service, he will have no option but to challenge it on appropriate legal forum. He also confirmed the newspaper that he has been nominated by the party.
YSR Congress chief Jagan Reddy reportedly promised him a party ticket way in December, prompting the officer to tender his resignation from IAS. In normal course, he would have retired only on June 30, 2015.
A post graduate in Telugu language and literature before getting selected to IAS, Rao has not lost touch with Andhra Pradesh despite getting posted in Gujarat. He reportedly shares family ties with YSR chief Jagan Reddy.
In 1980s, Rao was a collector in Gujarat districts of Mahesana and Bharuch. In Narendra Modi’s government, he was given plump posts such as MD in State Handloom Corporation, State Export Corporation and Tourism Corporation of Gujarat. He shared close ties with Modi himself, according to those who are aware of inside equations in Ahmedabad power circle. But that relations got strained, and an old case began to haunt the officer. As managing director of Vishakhapatnam Port Trust in mid-90s, Rao had awarded contracts that allegedly caused losses to the exchequer. In fact, it was the Central government which initiated an inquiry in the case after almost 15 years and registered four charge-sheets against him.
It snowballed into a big issue, and in May 2011, Rao was compulsorily retired according to orders of the Central government, an extreme step for any serving bureaucrat. Rao challenged the order in Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which in turn quashed his dismissal in September 2011. His last posting was Member Secretary of Gujarat Human Rights Commission.
Rao is known to be an outspoken officer, a quality that at times turns problematic for bureaucrats.
List of IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS officers contesting LS poll