Doval Rec­om­mends Chan­dra for NSA Job

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - BHAVNA VIJ-AU­RORA

For­mer In­tel­li­gence Bu­reau di­rec­tor Ajit Doval ap­pears to be the front-run­ner among the in­ter­nal se­cu­rity ex­perts be­ing con­sid­ered for the post of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor (NSA), in case Naren­dra Modi gets to head the next BJP-led NDA govern­ment as most exit polls have pre­dicted ahead of the dec­la­ra­tion of re­sults on May 16. Doval is, how­ever, be­lieved to have rec­om­mended the name of vet­eran In­dian For­eign Ser­vice of­fi­cer Satish Chan­dra, who served as Deputy NSA un­der Bra­jesh Mishra in the Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee-led NDA govern­ment, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the de­vel­op­ment said. Ahead of the 2009 gen­eral elec­tions too, Doval was tipped to be the NSA had BJP come to power. Chan­dra, a 1965-batch IFS of­fi­cer, has served in var­i­ous coun­tries, in­clud­ing Pakistan, Bangladesh and the United States. He was also chair­man of Joint In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee and sec­re­tary to the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Sec­re­tar­iat. Doval de­nied that BJP had sounded him out for the NSA’s job and said it was not a ques­tion of fo­cus­ing on the per­son but more on the pol­icy ob­jec­tive that the new govern­ment would like to achieve. “A con­certed ef­fort can then be made to find out the most ap­pro­pri­ate per­sons to ac­com­plish such tasks,” Doval told ET.

On be­ing asked about the IFS of­fi­cer,Do­val­said­in­hisopin­ionChan­dra was among the best in the coun­try. “He is ex­tremely pro­fes­sional and has rich ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

BJP lead­ers privy to the de­vel­op­ment said Modi would take the fi­nal call on the mat­ter af­ter the dec­la­ra­tion of re­sults. “Know­ing Modi, one can never sec­ond-guess him. He is quite ca­pa­ble of spring- ing a com­plete sur­prise,” said a se­nior BJP leader. Other names that have come up dur­ing dis­cus­sions be­tween Modi and the party brass in­clude for­mer rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the UN Hardeep Puri, who joined BJP just be­fore the elec­tions, and for­mer for­eign sec­re­tary Kan­wal Sibal. Both Sibal and Puri are con­sid­ered rel­a­tive lightweights, though, with lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence in in­ter­nal se­cu­rity. How­ever, Chan­dra’s age (he is in his early 70s) could go against him, BJP lead­ers said.

Naren­dra Modi-led BJP would sweep UP by win­ning 56 out of the to­tal 80 seats and emerge vic­to­ri­ous in 22 out of 40 seats in Bi­har: NDTV poll

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