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Sujatha eased out, Jaishankar is new foreign secretary

In a sudden shake-up late on Wednesday, the Narendra Modi government eased out  foreign secretary Sujatha Singh. India’ s ambassador to the US S Jaishankar, has replaced Singh. The major change comes just a day after US President Barack Obama left the country after a three-day visit on the occasion of Republic Day.

According sources in the external affairs ministry Singh was not the first choice of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. She was apparently foisted on him by Sonia Gandhi. Singh’s father, former Intelligence Bureau director, T V Rajeshwar apparently shared warm vibes with the Gandhis.

The surprise announcement was made after a meeting of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Singh’s two-year tenure was to end in August this year. . Dr Jaishankar -whose father was the legendary guru of strategic affairs, K Subrahmanyam - has the appetite to take bold decisions and capable of out of box thinking. Before he moved to Washington, DC, Dr Jaishankar served as ambassador in China and as high commissioner in Singapore.

Dr Jaishankar is seen as a bigger player on a larger stage and more in sync with Modi’s worldview. A late night official  announcement from the external affairs ministry said, “curtailment of tenure of Ms Sujatha Singh, IFS batch 1976 as FS with immediate effect,” it said.
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