18 May, 2021

"The Name Is Mishra, Brajesh Mishra"

The PM’S pet troubleshooter is arguably the most powerful principal secretary the PMO has seen

"The Name Is Mishra, Brajesh Mishra"

You could be spending life by yourself drinking tepid cups of tea in a nondescript party office one day. Suddenly, life does a somersault and you become one of the most important men in the country - to some, certainly the second most important. Principal secretary to the prime minister, National Security Advisor and frequent political sharpshooter Brajesh Mishra falls into this category. And is seldom out of headlines, albeit between the lines.

Mishra, since the days of manning the foreign affairs cell at BJP HQ at Delhi’s Ashoka Road after years as a foreign service mandarin, is your archetypal principal secretary. He derives sweeping powers from his boss. His access to the prime minister is unprecedented. He has breakfast, lunch and dinner with the man almost on a daily basis, chalking out policy, formulating plans, looking into the nitty-gritty of what constitutes a vast administration.

In the Vajpayee years, he has been the key motivator of foreign policy, the principal spokesman on all issues. And the opportunities have been...

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