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Sunday, Sep 26, 2021
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(Ad)Vice Minister

Low-profile but high-powered: that's the new Arun Singh

(Ad)Vice Minister
Jitender Gupta
(Ad)Vice Minister
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
He is not a high-flying bureaucrat; he is not a politician; he's not even a bjp sympathiser. Yet, Arun Singh is one of the most influential, if low-key, men in this government. As advisor (security) to the foreign and defence minister, he literally straddles South Block—two-thirds of it, anyway.

Most were baffled when Jaswant Singh brought Arun Singh, minister of state for defence under Rajiv Gandhi, in from—literally—the cold of the UP hills in April 2000. The one-line memo that announced his arrival in Room 161, South Block, offered no explanation either of the nature of his work or the duration of his tenure. Referring to the French system where the defence minister has an advisor on foreign affairs, a defence expert says, "In India, we have a strange situation where the foreign minister has a defence advisor!"

And in March this year, when Jaswant Singh took over the defence portfolio as well, Arun Singh became advisor to the defence minister too. A job acquired on the royalty network, given that Arun Singh belongs to the Kapurthala royal family of Punjab?...
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