Uttar Pradesh cabinet secretary gives up minister’s rankMarch 1st, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by admin
Lucknow, March 1 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh Saturday relinquished the special rank of a cabinet minister conferred on him by Chief Minister Mayawati. Singh, who had emerged as the most powerful bureaucrat in the state, has also divested himself of the powers of chief secretary that were transferred to him after the position of cabinet secretary was created by Mayawati in May 2007.
The chief minister made the announcement in the assembly Saturday.
“Objections against Singh’s appointment had been raised in the house by the leader of the opposition, but I avoided making any statement at that time because the matter was sub-judice. However, since he voluntarily offered to relinquish the minister’s rank and also give away his powers as head of the state secretariat, I have decided to make this announcement,” Mayawati said.
Singh will, however, continue to function as the cabinet secretary and will still wield the delegated authority of the chief minister in all administrative matters.
It is widely believed that the move was undertaken essentially in the light of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) pending before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court pertaining to minister’s rank conferred on Singh.
It is also believed that some ministers in Mayawati’s inner coterie were sore over the rank given to Singh, who does not belong to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
Singh was technically empowered to not only call for all official files relating to any ministry but also summon ministers.
On being contacted, Singh told IANS: “I took the decision to keep myself away from any controversy.”
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