Rao, a 1992-batch IAS officer, replaced Salina Singh.
Assembly elections are due in the state by year-end.
The government today also appointed Rajesh Kumar Kaul, an 2007-batch IAS officer, as the joint chief electoral officer. The order was issued by the General Administration Department.
Before the by-elections in the state earlier this year and also afterwards, state Congress chief Kamal Nath and MP Jyotiraditya Scindia had approached the election commission alleging irregularities in electoral rolls.
Reacting to Rao's appointment, Nath today said, "I expect the new CEO to conduct Assembly polls in an impartial manner, and to deal with our complaints seriously.
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