The government has moved papers to bring Ronen Sen, India's ambassador in Washington, back to New Delhi, officials said. Sen will be appointed to a key post in the Prime Minister's Office. An official announcement is likely to be made after the UP assembly elections.
Sen, a major force behind the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, is likely to stay on in Washington until the 123 Agreement is finalised, possibly over the next few months. Once the agreement is through, Shyam Saran, the PM's Special Envoy on the N-deal, is likely to be posted to Moscow as ambassador. Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, envoy to Nepal, is tipped to take over from Sen in Washington. Mukherjee told HT he had no official word on this.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet is due to meet before Parliament reopens on Thursday. Several key appointments are likely to be cleared at the meeting.
The government's candidate for Secretary-General to the Commonwealth is likely to be the High Commissioner to London, Kamlesh Sharma. The post falls vacant in 2008, and the election is due in October. Shashi Tharoor, who lost out in the race for United Nations Secretary General, is being considered for the job of India's envoy to the Court of St James in London. The spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office, Sanjaya Baru, is himself in London and will return on April 25.