Shashank Singh loses Cabinet rank
Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh was on Saturday stripped of the status of Cabinet Minister rank and as head of the secretariat administration in the wake of controversies surrounding him.
Chief Minister Mayawati, who had brought in Singh, a non-IAS cadre officer soon after her electoral victory last year, made the announcement in the state assembly about the changes in the presence of former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has been gunning for him.
"Yesterday, Singh had through a letter, made a request for being relieved of the responsibility of heading the secretariat administration and the status of Cabinet Minister rank. It has been accepted. But he will continue to be the Cabinet Secretary," she told reporters later.
Singh was enjoying the status of Cabinet Minister's rank by virtue of his being Vice Chairman of the State Planning Commission. Chief Secretary P K Misra would now be the head of the secretariat administration.
Singh had been in the thick of controversies ever since he was appointed with petitions being filed in courts against Cabinet Minister rank being given to him.
Yadav had been attacking the Government on this issue and making a non-IAS cadre official a Cabinet Secretary, a post that is generally not in vogue in states, and giving him charge of the secretariat administration.
The Leader of the Opposition had also alleged that Singh's house in Noida near Delhi was used in the kidney racket, a charge the official strongly denied.