The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which is directly controlling the Union Territory of Puducherry, has sent a panel of names of three Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers to the Chief Minister of Puducherry to choose a name for posting new Chief Secretary of Puducherry in place of the current Chief Secretary, Chetan B. Sanghi.

The urgent communication reached the Puducherry government on Thursday for marking it to the Chief Minister N. Rangasamy for choosing his preference.

A reliable source told The Hindu that the file, along with the supporting details of the three IAS officers, had already been sent to the Chief Minister’s Office. The CM would have to apply his mind for preferring one among the three names. Once he cleared the file, it would again be sent to the MHA for further action.

The source added that the name of M.M. Kutty, who was brought back as the Finance Secretary of Government of New Delhi recently, had figured in the panel. He is a 1985 batch of AGMUT cadre. A. Majumdar, another 1985 AGMUT cadre, who is working in Arunachal Pradesh, had also been found his place in the list. The third IAS officer, Sharma, from New Delhi is awaiting posting.

The move of MHA is likely to generate political heat among the political parties in Puducherry, as the file has reached Puducherry at a time when the Model Code of Conduct has been given effect by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The panel was reportedly cleared by the MHA on Tuesday, hours before the Election Commission of India (ECI) released the schedule of general elections on Wednesday. The stand of the Chief Minister Rangasamy, who is engaged in the process of finalising the alliance and the candidate of All India N.R. Congress for the Puducherry constituency, on the new Chief Secretary issue is not known immediately. He did not come to the Assembly building on Thursday morning as he was not well. However, sources said that the he would not take any decision in hurry.

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