Rajnath Looks Up To Patel for Inspiration Rajnath's Prescription for Home Min
After taking charge, Rajnath meets Home Secretary Anil Goswami, ministry officials and Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung to take stock of the things
“It's a ministry for brickbats, and he knows the only bouquets he gets is today.” An aide so summed up the challenge for his boss as BJP President Rajnath Singh joined on Thursday as the new Home Minister.
If the task is onerous at North Block, Singh was definitely looking for the right inspiration. Before coming to the Home Ministry, Singh made a point to garland a statue of India's first Home Minister, Sardar Patel at New Delhi's Patel Chowk. Once at the Ministry, Singh preferred to take the stairs (and not the elevator) where a giant photograph of Patel greets each visitor. An aide said Singh had decided on May 27 itself that he will first take Patel's blessings. “When you think of a Home Minister, the only person you think of is the Iron Man, Sardar Patel,” an aide said.
The post of Home Minister has lately been held by politicians perceived as week-kneed, including Shivraj Patil and Sushil Kumar Shinde, even as P Chidambaram brought an urgency to the job post the 26/11 attacks. Singh, however, does carry a hard-nosed image which many say is suited for the tricky job. “He is a man for crisis situation. He has handled many a crisis in BJP and virtually brought the party out of crisis. If there is a man cut out in this government for the high pressure job of Home Minister, it is him,” a close aide said.
Singh started in right earnest by holding a three-hour long meeting with ministry bureaucrats within minutes of taking charge where he made it clear that Internal Security was his “top priority”, a Ministry official said. “Think differently, innovate and think out of the box,” Singh told the bureaucrats as he saw a detailed presentation by Home Secretary Anil Goswami where the Home Minister asked
Goswami to prepare a “new blueprint” for internal security and asked the anti-naxal division in the ministry to achieve better coordination with states in the fight against the left-wing extremists.
“Singh had a lot of questions for the bureaucrats and asked them to set new targets. He wanted to know the estimate of the number of Bangladeshis living illegally in India and discussed the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration,” a Home Ministry official said. Singh also asked for a new advisory to be sent out for sensitising metros about the security of the north-east people. In another meeting in the evening, he met Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung to understand the political situation in the capital.
Singh carries a hard-nosed image which many say is suited for the tricky job
An aide also made light of the the fact that Singh joined only on Friday though his name as the Home Minister was announced on Wednesday itself. “He was on the job since Wednesday, working from Home. He had spoken to KCR Rao yesterday evening asking him to ensure events on appointed date of June 2 for Telangana go smoothly and without violence. Taking charge at North Block is just a photo-op which happened today. He has also been caught up in party work,” the aide said. Singh for one, was unlike those who spoke their mind to the media on their priorities as soon as they joined office. Singh thought it was better to wait and first understand the job he has at hand before speaking on the same “I will speak to you after 4-5 days,” he told a group of journalists who had been waiting since morning. Updates on his Twitter handle may be the hope.