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M K Narayanan given interim charge as NSA
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 04, 2005 19:08 IST
Last Updated: January 04, 2005 21:54 IST
Former Intelligence Bureau chief M K Narayanan has been given temporary charge as the national security advisor following the death of J N Dixit.
Narayanan is currently advisor in the prime minister's office and has been handling internal security matters.
According to sources in the PMO, the decision has been taken in view of the fact that the government does not want the important post to remain vacant for a long time pending the selection of a successor to Dixit.
Narayanan is one of the candidates in the fray for the top slot.
"Given his background and his profile as an outstanding officer who became chief of the Intelligence Bureau before his retirement, he has excellent chances of succeeding Dixit. His only weakness is that he has not handled any diplomatic assignment. But that is secondary," said a senior IB official.
Among those whose names are being mentioned are K Subrahmanyam, noted defence expert, and former IAS officer Naresh Chandra, former Indian ambassador to the United States.
The names also include a number of former foreign secretaries.
"I would like to say that I am not in the running for the post of NSA," Chandra told rediff.com.
Former foreign secretary and the present governor of Arunachal Pradesh, S K Singh, feels that the post should go to someone who has a background in diplomacy.
But he would not confirm or deny if he was a contender for the post.
Singh called on President A P J Abdul Kalam on Monday and later on he had one to one meeting with Narayanan.
Government's interluctor N N Vohra, whose name is also doing rounds, is unlikely to be be considered because he is seen as close to Bharatiya Janata Party president L K Advani.
Many feel that Ronen Sen, a former diplomat, will be a good choice. Sen, however, suffers ill health and has a heart ailment.
Names of Salman Haider, G Parthasarthy and Satish Lamba are also being mentioned.
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