New Delhi, Jan 27, 2017: The NDA’s Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) appointed ten political leaders affiliated with the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as independent directors on the boards of top public sector companies.
These include party’s Delhi unit vice president Shazia Ilmi; Gujarat IT cell convenor Rajika Kacheria; minority face of the BJP in Gujarat Asifa Khan; former BJP MLA candidate from Odisha Surama Padhy and former Bihar MLC Kiran Ghai Sinha.
They have been included on the boards of Navaratna PSUs that include Engineers India Ltd (EIL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and the National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO).
Delhi unit VP Ilmi has been appointed as an independent director in Engineers India Ltd (EIL). Kacheria has been included in Cotton Corporation of India Ltd board of directors . Sinha, who has also served on the local board of the Reserve Bank in Bihar, has been appointed an independent director of NALCO.
Another prominent name who figures in the list of appointees is that of Asifa Khan, who will serve on the board of HPCL. A post-graduate in English literature, Khan is a teacher-turned-politician, who was groomed in politics by Congress leader Ahmed Patel but has now become a popular minority face for BJP.
A former Rajya Sabha MP Bharatsinh Prabhatsinh has been named on the board of State Trading Corporation. When contacted, he has confirmed his appointment. Former MLA candidate from Odisha Surama Padhy, who will join the BHEL board, has a law degree, according to her affidavit filed with the Election Commission before the 2014 state Assembly elections.
The list also includes retired IAS officers, former heads of state-owned companies, and academicians from institutes like IITs and IIMs.
Many of these appointees apart from Rajika Kacheria, Kiran Ghai Sinha, Malathi Rani have said that they have not received any such communication from the government or the party about being made independent directors in PSUs.
The UPA during its regime too had appointed its leaders in PSUs.