Shashank Shekhar Singh, who once held the top office of the Uttar Pradesh’s cabinet secretary died in Max Hospital, Saket in New Delhi on late Wednesday evening.
Singh (63) breathed his last at about 9 PM. He was hospitalised there for brain cancer treatment. He was also suffering from kidney ailment for a long time and had gone abroad for treatment.
Singh is survived by his wife and two daughters. Family sources said his body would be brought to Lucknow on Thursday morning and cremation is likely to take place at about 4 PM.
Singh was the first non-IAS officer who rose to the top position of the state cabinet secretary. He was also the last officer to hold this top position as the state government decided to scrap the post and restored the powers of chief secretary’s post following the installation of Samajwadi Party led government in 2012.
Known for his aggressive style of functioning Singh held various important assigments even during the tenures of Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP led governments. It was after installation of Mulayam Singh Yadav as chief minister in 2003 he was sidelined. But soon after the return of BSP to power in 2007 he rose to prominence and was considered to be a close confidant of the then chief minister Mayawati and the most powerful bureaucrat.
His powers may be gauged from the fact that senior ministers used to line up to meet him and get their work done. Singh was initially given rank of a cabinet minister following his appointment as cabinet secretary. Later the state government decided to withdraw the cabinet minister’s rank when his appointment was challenged in Allahabad High Court.