Retired home secretary R.K. Singh to be Bihar advisor

Indo Asian News Service

Patna, Aug 17 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is set to rope in former union home secretary R.K. Singh as advisor on infrastructure development, officials said Saturday.

An official said that Nitish Kumar was to Lalu Prasad what Chanakya was to Chandragupta Maurya in 350 BC. Chanakya, teacher of philosophy and royal advisor, is credited with having engineered Maurya's rise to power.

R.K. Singh had served in Bihar till a few years ago, and Nitish Kumar had been impressed by his work in the state.

"The formal notification (of Singh's appointment as state advisor) will be issued soon," an official in the chief minister's office said.

"Singh has vast experience in infrastructure development, and the chief minister is keen on gaining from his expertise and knowledge," the official added.

Singh was the district magistrate of Samastipur district when senior BJP leader L.K. Advani was arrested Oct 23, 1990, while his Ram Rath Yatra was en route to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh from Somnath in Gujarat.

The arrest took place on the orders of then Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, at the height of the movement seeking the building of a temple at Ayodhya.

After Nitish Kumar came to power in the state in 2006, Singh, as principal secretary of the road construction department, was credited with having changed the face of the state's roads.

In his second term as chief minister of the state, which ends 2015, Nitish Kumar is keen on focusing on improving the power sector.

Once appointed, R.K. Singh will enjoy ministerial rank as the third such advisor to Nitish Kumar.

Mangla Rai serves as agriculture advisor in the state, and former diplomat Pawan Kumar Verma is cultural advisor.

Singh, a 1975 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Bihar cadre, retired as union home secretary June 30.

He is a native of Bihar.