A fresh controversy has erupted over the appointment of director at 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 PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
A renowned political scientist Mehta had raised objections on the selection of former bureaucrat Sinha, which, however, was the “majority opinion” of selection panel headed by Union Minister M J Akbar constituted by the NMML Executive Council,a source said.
The panel also chose the name of Prof Kapil Kumar of IGNOU for the post, which it forwarded to the Executive Council.
At a meeting yesterday, the Executive Council 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 the NMML.
“I have no comments. My resignation letter and a note of dissent is with the authorities,” Mehta said when contacted about the disagreements over the appointment of NMML director.
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 Culture Ministry that will seek the approval of appointments committee.
An IAS officer of 1979 batch from AGMUT cadre, Sinha was considered as a highly influential joint secretary of Vajpayee’s PMO in late 90s. He had also served as private secretary to Vajpayee.
He had taken voluntary retirement from the services in 2013 when he was serving as Finance secretary in Delhi government.