The 1988 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre AK Sharma was last posted as Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the government of India in last April.
Sharma Joined PMO with PM Modi in 2014
Prior to his posting as full fledged Secretary in not very significant ministry, Sharma was a high profile bureaucrat as additional Secretary in the PMO which he joined along with Narendra Modi as PM in 2014.
Longest Serving Bureaucrat with Narendra Modi
Sharma is considered the longest serving bureaucrat with Narendra Modi starting from 2001 when Modi took over as CM in Gujarat to April 2020 when he was finally moved out from the PMO. In all, Sharma worked directly under Modi for almost 19 years in Gujarat and Delhi together.
His posting outside the PMO, an average ministry in the central government had created a lot of buzz about reasons and factors that led to his posting in the MSME ministry.
Sharma sought VRS after 8 months in MSME ministry
In little over eight months, Sharma decided to seek Voluntary retirement from the service (VRS) and his application for the same was processed and accepted within a week again sparked speculations and created a buzz about his next move.
Sharma might BJP at Lucknow
Sources have quoted that Sharma might officially join BJP at Lucknow tomorrow. The picture is set to clear after some hous.
Former IAS officer may be Offered Membership of UP Legislative Council
As per the media reports and buzz on social media, Sharma is likely to get an important political assignment in near future. A section of the media even speculated that he may be inducted as a member of the legislative council in Uttar Pradesh, his native state, and he may get some ministerial role in the state cabinet there.
Goverorship or Lieutenant Governorship may be Offered
Another speculation about him is that he may get some gubernatorial assignment in some state as the centre is expected to appoint Governors in a few states by next week.
However, sources in the central government confided that Sharma is likely to get “semi political assignment” which means Lieutenant Governor in some union territory.
If he is indeed appointed as LG, whether it's going to be Pondicherry where the current incumbent Kiran Bedi’s term is almost over or in Delhi where current incumbent Anil Baijal, appointed in December 2016, is most likely to be changed.
In the next few days, clarity will emerge where AK Sharma starts his new innings from. But it’s almost certain that his next innings will be in politics whether it's semi political or fully political.