IT’S official now. 1974 batch UP cadre IAS Pulok Chatterji, who is known for his proximity to UPA chairwoman Sonia Gandhi, will be back in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) triggering speculations that principal secretary to PM, TKA Nair could be made a governor in a few days time. Chatterji, who had an earlier innings in the PMO as PM's private secretary and then secretary during the UPA-I, was recalled from his World Bank assignment mid-way. He was to complete his World Bank tenure early next year.
When BoI (babusofindia.com) released its first list of 5 Most Powerful Bureaucrats in August, 2009, it placed Chatterji at the top which had surprised many. How could someone stationed in US be more powerful than TKA Nair? BoI then said: “Pulok Chatterji could now be posted far away in Washington DC as an executive director of the World Bank, but his one phone call carries more power than many important files doing round the power corridors of Delhi. But what makes him so special and powerful?”
After all, Chatterji was the “eyes and ears of Sonia in PMO” as was said by fellow bureaucrats and politicians. He had served as district magistrate of Rae Bareli in early 1980s, a director in the PMO during Rajiv Gandhi’s time, a secretary (joint secretary equivalent) in Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in early 1990s, and then a private secretary to Sonia Gandhi when she was the leader of the Opposition. He is a highly efficient officer with a clear focus on delivery.
Chatterji is unlikely to face any resistance from any officer. Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth himself is his batch-mate and belongs to the UP cadre.
Action and Appointments
a) Home secretary RK Singh is leaving forb) Anand Bardhan, a 1992 batch Uttarakhand cadre IAS has been appointed as Counsellor, Community Affairs (Development) in the Embassy of India,
Thimphu on Thursday to attend the 4th meeting of interior secretaries of the SAARC nations to be held there on the July 22. This will be his first foreign visit after taking over as Union home secretary recently.