Row over Nehru memorial council member’s resignation

A controversy has erupted over the appointment of the director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) after a prominent member of its executive council, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, quit allegedly over shortlisting of Shakti Sinha who had served as private secretary to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
A renowned political scientist, Mehta had objected to the selection of former bureaucrat Sinha, who had the “majority opinion” at selection panel headed by Union minister MJ Akbar constituted by the NMML executive council in his favour, a source said. The panel also shortlisted Prof Kapil Kumar of IGNOU for the post.
At a meeting on Friday, the executive xouncil decided to forward these two names to the culture ministry but due to the prevailing disagreements, Mehta, decided to bring his dissent on record and quit. “I have no comments. My resignation letter and a note of dissent is with the authorities,” Mehta said when contacted for comments.
The post of director at NMML is lying vacant since last year after UPA appointee Mahesh Rangarajan stepped down. It is believed that two names have been sent to the culture ministry which will now will seek the approval of appointments committee of the cabinet.
An IAS officer of 1979 batch from AGMUT cadre, Sinha was considered as a highly influential joint secretary in Vajpayee’s PMO in the late 1990s. He had also served as private secretary to Vajpayee.
He had taken voluntary retirement in 2013 when he was serving as Finance secretary in Delhi government.

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