Lucknow: Ex- bureaucrat and PM Modi’s close aide, Arvind Kumar Sharma’s sudden entry in Uttar Pradesh politics has created a lot buzz as the former IAS official joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Lucknow, on Thursday, just a day after rendering his resignation from the PMO, 2 years ahead of his formal retirement. Sharma joined the party in the presence of state party chief Swantantra Dev Singh and Deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma.
“I come from a backward village of Mau district in Uttar Pradesh. I was working on the post of a secretary and don’t have any political background. To bring a person like me into the party, only PM Narendra Modi. And BJP can do it,” Sharma told media.
It is to be mentioned that, the 1988 batch cadre IAS officer, Sharma, was awarded the post of Secretary in the micro, small and medium enterprises ministry in May 2020 and prior to this, he was appointed as the Additional Secretary in the PMO.
His decision of taking early VRS had created ripples in the political corridor, as the BJP state unit is reportedly finalizing the names of candidates for the biennial election to 12 seats in the UP Legislative Council. The quick acceptance of his voluntary retirement plea on Monday, started a buzz in the BJP circles that Sharma may be given bigger political post in the UP state in the coming days. To note, elections are to fought on 12 seats and the last date for filing of nominations is January 18.
Sharma, who is considered as PM’s trusted ex-official and has successfully handled Modi’s dream project ‘Vibrant Gujarat’, could be made the deputy chief minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet, speculated some political leaders. Being speculated ever since the resignation of Sharma, he might be one of the BJP candidates in the Vidhan Parishad polls in the state, as per media reports. Another view on his role suggests he may be given a key assignment at the Centre.
Always maintaining a low profile, Sharma served as Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat and later, he worked as additional secretary in the Prime Minister Office (PMO) for long six years.