- Arvind Kumar Sharma joined the party in Lucknow
- He is among most trusted aides of PM Modi
- The 1988 batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre is from Mau in UP
A former IAS officer who spent years in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's team and is among his most-trusted aides, joined the ruling BJP today. Arvind Kumar Sharma, who quit the civil services recently, is likely to play a big role in Uttar Pradesh politics.
Reports suggest Mr Sharma could become a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government and take the state Legislative Council route. Elections to 12 Legislative Council seats will take place on January 28.
"Today, former IAS officer Arvind Kumar Sharma was welcomed into the BJP family. The party will definitely get new impetus with the capabilities and dedication of Arvind Kumar Sharma who has been associated with the ideology of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas'," state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh tweeted.
The 1988 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer is from Mau in UP.
Mr Sharma was Secretary, Union Ministry for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), until his voluntary retirement this week. The sudden move, two years before his term was to end, came as a surprise to many.
Soon after his BJP welcome, he tweeted his gratitude to PM Modi.
आशुतोष तुम अवढर दानी !— AK Sharma (@aksharmaBharat) January 14, 2021
Village born person who struggled to make it to IAS! Making me leave GOI's Secretary post before two years of retirement & making me join world's biggest party with great honour! Only Narendra Modi & BJP can do it.Grateful@narendramodi@BJP4India@minmsmepic.twitter.com/6Ck2BwWOhT
Mr Sharma worked with PM Modi not just in Delhi but also when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat before 2014. He joined him as secretary in 2001, when Mr Modi began his stint as Gujarat Chief Minister.
Over nearly two decades, Mr Sharma earned the Prime Minister's trust with his results-driven approach, BJP leaders say.
When PM Modi was in Gujarat, Mr Sharma was chief executive of the Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board. He joined the PM's Office in 2014, when the BJP came to power after a landslide victory.
The officer, known to keep a low profile, remained in the Prime Minister's Office until he was moved to the critical MSME ministry in May, when the government was working on a relief package for the sector badly hit by the coronavirus lockdown.