Pulok Chatterjee joins PMO

New Delhi: Senior IAS officer Pulok Chatterjee, considered close to the Gandhi family, today joined as the Prime Minister`s Principal Secretary, at a time when the government is going through tough times.

A 1974-batch officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, Chatterjee returned to PMO after a stint with the World Bank. He was in the PMO earlier as a Joint Secretary from 2004 to 2009.

He replaced T K A Nair, who has been made Advisor to the Prime Minister.

Chatterjee`s return is seen with significance as he is expected to make smoother the coordination between PMO and Congress President Sonia Gandhi at a time when the government is passing through difficult times.

He is considered close to Sonia Gandhi with whom he had served when she was the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.

His appointment is part of a rehaul of the Prime Minister`s Office initiated three months back.

M N Prasad, who was a Secretary in the PMO, left to join the World Bank. Sanjay Mitra, a Joint Secretary in the PMO, has already joined West Bengal government. He has been replaced by L K Atheeq, who was serving as Director and was promoted recently.

Senior IFS officer Pankaj Saran, a Joint Secretary in the PMO, is also on the way out.