23 June, 2021

No One’s Family

Pradeep Sharma, once Modi’s favourite collector, fell out with him and was part of the surveillance sting

Amit Dave
No One’s Family

From Shankersinh Vaghela to Keshu­­bhai Patel to L.K. Advani, Narendra Modi’s career is pockmarked with fri­e­nds who turned foes the higher he rose and the bigger he grew. IAS officer Pradeep Sharma, many say, could be similar collateral damage. After he put Bhuj back on track following the devastating 2001 earthquake, Modi had praised the man he had handpicked to rebuild the district as “one of the state’s brightest collectors”. But as the Amit Shah tapes show, by 2009 a mysterious turn of events had turned Sharma into a hunted man, whom the “Saheb” wanted tailed.

“When I was posted as SP (operations) in the anti-terrorism squad (ATS), Amit Shah directed me several times to watch the movements of Pradeep Sharma, who was then posted as municipal commissioner, Bhavnagar,” the suspended IPS officer G.L. Singhal had said in his statement to the CBI in April 2013, when he handed over the 267 phone conversations he had recorded with Shah, Gujarat’s then MoS for home.

Multiple sources have told...

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