By Arun Joshi
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam , one of the men behind the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution , is going back to the Centre as Commerce Secretary after having accomplished the mission that he was assigned three years ago .
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Thursday ordered his appointment as Commerce Secretary in the Government of India .He will be officer on special duty till June 30 , then he will take over from the current commerce secretary.
He had come to Jammu and Kashmir on June 21 , 2018, two days after the politically elected government of Mehbooba Mufti was reduced to a minority with BJP pulling out of the PDP-BJP coalition government. His arrival marked the beginning of the process of abolition of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into the two Union Territories of Ladakh, and J&K.
These decisions of August 5 , 2019 , and the security plans to handle the situation post abrogation of Article 370 , were all drafted in advance by B V R , as he is known popularly among his colleagues and friends . He burnt mid-night’s oil in JK House, Chanakyapuri , for days ahead of the August 5 decisions .
That he was the officer of great trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi became public when during a meeting of top officers and senior functionaries of the Government, including the then Governor Satya Pal Malik in Srinagar in February 2019, the Prime Minister praised him as an “ efficient officer”, who was the first to tell him that the Indian economy would touch three trillion dollars.
His three years in Jammu and Kashmir have seen much of transformation of the place not only in terms of its exalted status of special status and a large state being brought at par with other states and UTs in the country, but also a slew of measures that brought development in all sectors as top priority on the agenda of governance . He also facilitated the introduction of the central laws and bringing changes in the style of governance in J&K, which was earlier known as a state without any plans for infrastructural and human development in its archaic style of governance .
Over these years, he had become an icon of the real bureaucratic power and duty toward the people could stand up to anything because of his own knowledge and style of working that had enhanced confidence of Prime Minister in him.
Within hours after the state of Jammu and Kashmir had come under Governor’s rule – a modified version of the President’s rule in the hitherto special status state , where Governor under such a rule had the legislative powers as well – came the announcement of Subrahmanyam as the new chief secretary .
The message to the then governor N N Vohra was clear that he would not have the complete say in the matters of administration . Vohra took some time to understand It. Himself a hard-core bureaucrat , could understand that the Centre had put him on notice when Centre dealt with the matters of state over him with Subrahmanyam .
Vohra was given marching orders in August 2018 ,and he came to know it through a call from the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh while he was in Delhi getting his teeth checked up .
Subrahmanyam is returning as a satisfied man, for he has completed and accomplished the mission he was assigned at the time when he was sent to J&K.
About the Author:
Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express and The Tribune.
He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com