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Three retired IAS officers join BJP

From Our Delhi Bureau | October 04, 2008 18:14 IST

Former Delhi [Images] Lieutenant Governor Vijay Kapoor and two former chief secretaries -- Baleshwar Rai of Goa [Images] and Arun Kumar of Chhattisgarh -- on Saturday formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Kapoor, a 1961 batch Indian Administrative Service official who was the secretary, defence production, is considered to be close to senior BJP leader L K Advani [Images]. After retiring in 2003, Kapoor has been a special invitee to the BJP's national executive since 2006.

Baleshwar Rai, a 1970 IAS officer of the Union Territory cadre who has been the Goa Governor and chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Committee, left his position as the chairman of the Delhi Public Grievance Commission to join BJP.

Arun Kumar, who was the first chief secretary of Chhattisgarh and chairman of the State Administrative Reforms Commission, has also worked as vice-chairman of the Chhattisgarh Planning Board after retirement.

Among the senior posts he held at the Centre included those of the Textile Commissioner and deputy secretary at the Commerce Ministry.

The fourth person to join the party is Srideo Sharma, a Vedic and Sanskrit scholar and son of Pandit Mahadeo Shastri. He has been an adviser to the Tirupathi University.

At a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday, Venkaiah Naidu also announced that the BJP would resume selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections from October 10, after the Dussehra festivities are over..

He said the Congress' jittery attitude towards the elections was evident from the fact that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S R Reddy had urged the Centre to prepone the assembly elections in the state, as he fears that the anti-incumbency factor against the ruling United Progressive Alliance will affect the party's chances in the state.

The BJP leader also ridiculed the Prime Minister for his 'mistaken belief that the nuclear deal will get the Congress re-elected'. "He should know that the American citizens who are elated at the deal do not have votes in India," Naidu remarked.






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