Her neck in danger, heads of Maya's officials roll
Express News Service Posted online: Friday , Mar 19, 2010 at 0251 hrs
Lucknow : Currency garlands stay firmly around Mayawati's neck, but
heads have started rolling. Apparently angry over the "negative
publicity" generated by the garland at the BSP maharally in Lucknow on
March 15, the Chief Minister on Thursday shunted out Additional
Cabinet Secretary Vijay Shankar Pandey, who also held the post of
Principal Secretary (Information), along with his brother.
The 1979-batch IAS officer, who was considered very close to Mayawati
and was regarded as one of the most powerful bureaucrats in Uttar
Pradesh till recently, has now been made Principal Secretary, Medical
and Health. Pandey would continue to hold the additional charge of
Principal Secretary, Vocational Education.
Mayawati is reportedly unhappy that the giant garland overshadowed
everything, including news reports on the rally, particularly in the
PCS officer Ajay Shankar Pandey, the younger brother of Vijay Shankar,
was removed as Municipal Commissioner of Ghaziabad and posted as Chief
Development Officer (CDO) of Mathura district. Basant Lal, CDO
Mathura, is the new Ghaziabad Municipal Commissioner.
Ajay Kumar Upadhaya, the Additional Director of Information
Department, who is considered close to Vijay Shankar, also faced the
axe. He has been removed and posted as Special Secretary, Finance, in
place of Arvind Naryan Mishra, who goes as Additional Director,
IAS officer Shailesh Krishna, who held the charge of Principal
Secretary (Revenue), would now be Principal Secretary to the CM as
well as Principal Secretary (Information). This is Krishna's third
tenure in the CMO under Maya-raj, with his second stint there ending
just a month ago.
Pradeep Shukla, Principal Secretary (Medical and Health), and Jacob
Thomas, Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies), have been asked
to join as Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies) and Principal
Secretary (Revenue) respectively.
While Vijay Shankar called the shots in the CM's Secretariat till
recently, his clout had been considerably reduced after the last
reshuffle on February 14. Mayawati had created a second post of
Additional Cabinet Secretary and given the charge to Netram, with a
direction that all important files to her be routed through him. Vijay
Shankar's role had been reduced to mere monitoring of important
development and welfare schemes.
IT begins probe into garland
The Income Tax Department, Lucknow, has initiated investigation into
the cash garland presented to Chief Minister Mayawati at the BSP rally
on March 15. The day after, she had ben presented another garland
worth Rs 18 lakh.
Sources at the IT Department said a deputy director (investigation
wing) has been assigned the probe. The team has been delving into the
source of the currency notes before issuing notice to the ruling
party, an official said. Efforts are also on to get the video footage
of the presentation.
The notice being drafted includes queries about the sources through
which such a huge amount of the currency notes were collected.
Besides, the party will also be asked to furnish details about the
source of the new currency notes of Rs 1,000 denomination, officials
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