The ruling BJP in the Centre has rewarded its key leaders with plum appointments as independent directors in the so-called navratna PSUs. Among the beneficiaries are BJP’s Delhi unit’s vice president, Shazia Ilmi, Gujarat IT cell convenor Rajika Kacheria, the party’s minority face in Gujarat, Asifa Khan, former BJP MLA candidate from Odisha Surama Padhy and former Bihar MLC Kiran Ghai Sinha.
A report by India Express said that the companies they have been appointed as independent directors include Engineers India Ltd (EIL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and the National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO).
Ilmi was a senior figure in Aam Aadmi Party before she jumped the ship to join the saffron party. Khan, a protege of Congress heavyweight, Ahmad Patel, is a teacher-turned-politician and very popular minority face of the BJP in Gujarat.
Among other appointees are the party’s Karnataka unit secretary Bharathi Magdum (appointed on the STC board), former Rajya Sabha MP, Bharatsinh Prabhatsinh Parmar( appointed on the board of State Trading Corporation), former MLA candidate from Odisha Surama Padhy (will join the BHEL board), BJP’s Andhra Pradesh unit Mahila Morcha head Sarnala Malathi Rani (appointed as an independent director of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd), Sipra Goon, who contested the 2016 Assam state elections for BJP (selected as independent director of Andrew Yule & Company Ltd) and Shikha Roy, a former BJP candidate from Kasturba Nagar constituency in Delhi, (appointed on board of National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd.)
The UPA government too had come under scanner for its decision to appoint its functionaries and sympathisers to key posts in PSUs during its regime lasting for 10 years during 2004 and 2014.