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PMO set for a makeover, Sonia confidante may stage comeback

Friday July 01, 2011 06:41:31 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Manmohan Singh government seems headed for a major makeover, could also include a bureaucratic shake-up in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

The changes in the PMO could happen before the year-end as many senior officers are on deputation and are close to finishing the seven-year-tenure ceiling set by the prime minister.

The changes in the PMO, along with a substantial cabinet reshuffle that is expected this month, is set to give the government a new look.

With many senior party leaders complaining of the communication gap between the government and the party, Pulok Chatterjee, a confidante of Congress president Sonia Gandhi who also served as her personal secretary when she was leader of the opposition, may come back to the PMO as secretary.

A 1974 batch IAS officer, Chatterjee's term as an executive director with the World Bank will end in February 2012. However, he may join the PMO earlier than that, well-placed sources said.

He is in the city in connection with his daughter's marriage and, according to sources, met Prime Minister's Principal Secretary T.K.A Nair, triggering speculation about his return to the PMO.

Chatterjee served as secretary in the PMO before he headed to Washington for the World Bank job in 2008. His name was also being mentioned for the post of cabinet secretary, but the government finally decided to appoint Ajit K. Seth to the top bureaucratic job.

The changes in the PMO could include a secretary, an additional secretary, three joint secretaries and four director-level officials making way for new entrants.









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