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Narayanan to take over as Bengal governor


Meetu Jain,CNN-IBN
Jan 16, 2010 at 10:09pm IST

New Delhi: There is a new power matrix at Raisina Hill. Shiv Shankar Menon, set to be India's new National Security Advisor, returns to foreign policy making but it is Home Minister P Chidambaram who has emerged all powerful on internal security.

"A division of the current functions of the Ministry of Home Affairs is unavoidable. The Home Minister should devote the whole of his or her energy to matters relating to security," Chidambaram had said a few days ago.

For MK Narayanan, India's security czar for over half a decade, the writing on the wall was clear that it is time to head for a Raj Bhavan following Chidambaram's statement.

LONG INNINGS OVER: MK Narayanan has been India's national Security Advisor for over half a decade.

In what's being billed as the biggest shake up yet at the Centre, Narayanan is all set to head to West Bengal as its new Governor.

So had the current NSA outlived his utility for the Congress?

For a party which sets a high premium on loyalty, one would have thought that Narayanan would be a permanent fixture at South Bloc.

But loyalty, too, has its shelf life and with Narayanan gone, a new power structure is emerging not just at the Prime Minister's Office but at the Home Ministry as well.

Chidambaram is now emerging stronger and is all set to shake up the internal security structure.

A number of agencies that reported to the NSA now report to him and the new NSA Shiv Shankar Menon will mainly handle diplomacy.

In the power see saw, the badly drafted joint statement at Shram-al Sheikh blamed on Menon has now been forgotten.

So is it utility value alone that the Congress is looking at?

"The Congress party has always honoured individuals who have contributed to public life, to the public space in whatever capacity," was all that Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

In all eight governors will now take charge before Republic Day and the biggest loyalist Shivraj Patil is all set to be rehabilitated with charge of Punjab and the Union territory of Chandigarh.

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