I had offered to quit before retirement: RK Singh

NEW DELHI (TIP): Former home secretary R K Singh has said that he had offered to resign when his successor Anil Goswami was brought in as officer on special duty almost two months before the end of his tenure, in a “deliberate move by minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to sideline him”. “It was completely absurd to bring in an OSD when I still had two months left. Apparently, Shinde had put pressure at the highest level in the government for the premature appointment. I did not like it and approached the cabinet secretary, offering to resign. However, I was dissuaded from doing so,” Singh said.

The former home secretary, who earlier this week accused Shinde of interfering with the functioning and investigations of Delhi Police, said he had brought this to the notice of then principal secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterjee. Singh said his differences with Shinde really started after the latter insisted on removing then Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar over an attack by Jat protestors at his residence last year. Singh opposed this, arguing that it would be unfair to hold an officer above ACP-rank responsible. Thereafter, Neeraj Kumar confided in Singh about the alleged slips sent to him by Shinde’s staff directing him on transfers and postings in Delhi Police. “He even showed me SMSs sent to him to that effect,” Singh said. Slamming allegations that he was attacking Shinde because he had failed to land a post-retirement posting, Singh clarified that though he had applied for top posts in CAG, CIC and UPSC in the normal course, he was approached by Bihar government much before his retirement with an offer to join as an adviser.

“I accepted the offer… so where is the question of lobbying for these central government posts when I had already committed to Bihar government,” he said. Singh also dismissed charges of opportunism, saying he chose to speak out against Shinde as the minister had “provoked” him by claiming to have “scolded” him over the Jat protests at his residence. “My differences with Shinde were already known… I had briefed principal secretary to the PM about the same,” said Singh. “And if my criticism of Shinde were to be politically motivated, why would I not have similar things to say about other ministers like P Chidambaram and A K Antony, both of whom I shared a good working relationship with,” the former bureaucrat said.

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