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Pande takes top post for two years

New Delhi, Sept. 10: Kamal Pandeís appointment as Cabinet secretary was formally announced today.

Pande, who will have a two-year tenure, like predecessor T.R Prasad, starting from November 1, will relinquish charge as home secretary and work as Officer on Special Duty in the Cabinet secretariat from October 15 before taking over.

Pande, an Uttranchal cadre officer, will be the third member of his extended family to take over as Cabinet secretary.

The new Cabinet secretary, who topped his batch, is related by marriage to former West Bengal and Punjab Governor B.D. Pande and Vinod Pande, both of whom have held the top post in the Cabinet secretariat. His wife is the sister of the Bihar Governorís sister.

Another sister of the Governor is married to B.D. Pande, while two others are married to former IB chief R.P. Joshi and former BSF director general Satish Dutt Pande.

With Pande on his way out, deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani will have to look for a replacement by the middle of next month. The names being talked about in official circles are consumer affairs and public distribution secretary Somnath Bandopadhyay, commerce secretary Dipak Chatterjee and coal secretary Nishi Kant Sinha.

Fertiliser secretary Nripendra Mishra of the 1967 Uttar Pradesh cadre is also in the race.

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