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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Office, cabinet room sport new look for PM

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 09, 2014
First Published: 00:19 IST(9/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:23 IST(9/5/2014)

A new-look office will greet the new Prime Minister in South Block after May 16, the day of declaring the election results. The cabinet room on the same floor of South Block will sport a brand new look too.

While the new residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at 3, Motilal Nehru Marg is undergoing minimal repairs, the two key rooms in the top office are undergoing major renovation — first time in 10 years.

“From the wooden flooring to wall panels and paint, almost everything will sport a new look,” a source said. While Singh is currently working out of his residential office at 7, Race Course Road, the renovation work is expected to be complete in a fortnight.

Before the job is done, Singh would be throwing a special farewell party for his officers — considered a rarity — on May 13.

For now, the PM’s household is packing books, gifts and other items. Sources said he would keep most of the books and  let many gifts he received in his official capacity be stored in the ‘toshakhana’ (government treasury).

Among the gifts being packed is a cricket bat presented by his British counterpart David Cameron.

Congress sources suggested that the PM may not shift to his new official residence on May 15, as planned earlier, but may take a few more days to move out of 3, RCR. But Singh and wife Gursharan Kaur will anyway start living in the Motilal Nehru Marg bungalow before the new Prime Minister is sworn in.

Sources suggested that most of the members of Team Manmohan Singh in the PMO will shift to new assignments. His two private secretaries, Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi and Vikram Misri are going abroad — the former as senior advisor to IMF and the latter as ambassador to Spain.

Among the directors, Munu Mahawar will return to external affairs ministry, Shakil P Ahammed to agriculture ministry and Arindam Bagchi as deputy high commissioner to Sri Lanka.

PM’s joint secretary Dheeraj Gupta will go to Planning Commission and Himani Sarad, additional private secretary to Gursharan Kaur is slated for commerce ministry.


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