Saturday, May 22, 2010


22 May 2010



By R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is understood to have given yet another extension of six month to 62-year old Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, scuttling prospects of Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla (59), a Gujarat cadre IAS officer of 1973 batch.

Chandrasekhar, who is serving the UPA government since June 2007 as the Cabinet Secretary, is already on a year's extension that was to expire on June 12. Sources said the Prime Minister has just cleared his file.

Officially, the new extension to him up to December is attributed to the major responsibility of monitoring the Rs 30,000-crore expenditure on the Commonwealth Games that are slated in October.

Insiders, however, say the exercise is intended to pave way for Pulok Chatterjee, a Gandhi family loyalist and a 1974 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, to directly take over as the Cabinet Secretary. Chatterjee, who is presently a World Bank executive director in Washington, was here in March to explore his prospects.

Sources said all the remaining 1972 batch IAS officers will be retired by the time Pulok gets the posting to head the Indian bureaucracy while those from the 1973 batch like Ashok Chawla will not be in the Government of India to create a problem of supersession of the seniors.

Pulok served in the PMO during the first term of Dr Manmohan Singh as the PM, first as additional secretary and then as special secretary before moving to the World Bank where his tenure ends in November 2011. He was earlier secretary to Sonia Gandhi during her tenure as the leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

While in the PMO, he was holding the dual post as secretary in the National Advisory Council (NAC) that was headed by Sonia Gandhi until she quit to escape disqualification and got re-elected. Even after her exit, he continued in the NAC post besides serving the PMO for another two years before letting it die down.

He is close confidant of both Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh and as such his absence is felt in both 10 Janpath and 7 Race Course. Pulok came close to the Gandhi family while serving late Rajiv Gandhi and as such he enjoys confidentiality of both Sonia Gandhi as well as her children for the past two decades.


1 comment:

jyoti said...

Its too sad that people's representative can represent any one who suits their will............