Apparently upset at the bad press she received over the controversial currency note garland, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Thursday gave marching orders to her close confidante and principal secretary (information and public relations) Vijay Shankar Pande.
Besides the key position as head of her media management team, Pande has also been stripped of the prime posts of additional cabinet secretary and principal secretary to the chief minister.
Pande has been made principal secretary (health), so far held by Pradeep Shukla, who has been appointed principal food secretary. Pande is known to be close to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)'s Brahmin mascot and general secretary Satish Chandra Misra.
Pande has been replaced by Shailesh Krishna, a one-time Mayawati blue-eyed boy, who was shunted out of the chief minister's secretariat not very long ago.
Krishna, who has played a long innings in the information and PR wing of the Uttar Pradesh government - both under the Mulayam Singh Yadav as well as Mayawati government - enjoys tremendous goodwill with the media.
Pande shot to fame for spearheading a campaign launched by the state IAS Association 13 years ago to identify the "three most corrupt IAS officers".