Pulok Chatterjee to be back in PMO soon

July 26th, 2011 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmhohan Singh is likely to effect a reshuffle in his office by appointing Pulok Chatterjee as his principal secretary and retaining the current secretary, T.K.A. Nair, as advisor, sources said.

Chatterjee is a 1974 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official who had earlier worked in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and also with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi. His appointment is expected to facilitate coordination between the PMO and Gandhi, sources said.

The appointment of Chatterjee, an Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer who was with the PMO till 2009, is expected this weekend. Chatterjee’s term as executive director with the World Bank in Washington was up to 2012 but he has been recalled to take up the new assignment.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) Tuesday approved the name of M.N. Prasad, at present secretary in the PMO, as Chatterjee’s successor at the World Bank.

Political circles and bureaucratic watchers say Chatterjee’s appointment is a move by the 25-month-old UPA II government to shore up its image and coordinate developmental schemes.

“Chatterjee earned the confidence of the ‘Big Two’ (Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi) during his tenures with them. Now he has to work with both,” a senior Congress leader told IANS.

Chatterjee, a batchmate of Cabinet Secretary A.K. Seth, had worked as Gandhi’s secretary when she was leader of opposition during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule 1998-2004.

Nair, who has been the principal secretary to Manmohan Singh for the past seven years, will be retained in the PMO in view of his experience and rapport with the prime minister, sources said.

A retired Punjab cadre IAS officer, Nair is an expert on developmental economics, a subject of interest to the prime minister too.

The UPA top brass was considering a proposal to send Nair as governor. But that seems to have been shelved for the moment, sources said.

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