Taj case accused R K Sharma back in Maya's inner circle

Net Ram too makes it, Shailesh Krishna parked in big bureaucracy shake up

bvrao

BV Rao | February 14, 2010


Uttatr Pradesh chief minister does a balancing act in the latest shake up of bureaucracy
Uttatr Pradesh chief minister does a balancing act in the latest shake up of bureaucracy

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on
Saturday effected a major shake-up in her top bureaucracy.

Significantly, one of the top slots has gone to a controversial
IAS officer, R K Sharma who is a key accused in the Rs. 175 crore Taj
Corridor scam. He was charge-sheeted by the Central
Brueau of Investigation (CBI).

Sharma who was deeply embroiled in the case. has been elevated as the state’s agriculture production
commissioner cum additional chief secretary of the state. So far he
was holding the position of principal secretary (panchayat raj).

Much heat and dust was raised over the issue following disclosures
that the Mayawati government (in her last stint) was allegedly
planning to convert the vast open land behind the 17th century
architectural marvel into some kind of a high profile commercial hub.
The intervention of the apex court eventually frustrated the
government's  plans . However, Sharma and some other top buraucrats
remained in the dock along with Mayawati herself.

The case is still pending before the Supreme Court .

Another significant change in the inner circle came with the
removal of  her one time favourite principal secretary Shailesh
Krishna. He was shifted to the innocuous revenue department.
Krishna came in the firing line largely on account of the increasing
tug-of-war between two warring groups of "Pancham Tal" or the fifth floor seat of Mayawati's power centre. The two warring groups are led by Satish Mishra, Mayawati's brahmin mascot and Shashank Shekhar her cabinet secretary.


The chief minister has also split the all important position of
additional cabinet secretary by creating a parallel position and
entrusting the charge to her close confidant Net Ram.  That naturally
dilutes the position of Vijay Shankar Pandey, who was the sole
additional cabinet secretary so far. Significantly, Net Ram will
continue to hold charge of the key departments of exise, sugar
industries and cane development.

Caste factors seem to have weighed heavily on Mayawati's mind. That was clearly reflected in the bifurcation of the post of
additional cabinet secretary. While the position had been created
specially for Vijay Shankar Pandey, who was known to be close to the Bahujan Samaj Party's brahmin mascot Satish Chandra Misra, Net Ram is a dynamic scheduled caste
officer, close to Misra's rival Shashank Shekhar
Singh, who heads the state bureaucracy as cabinet secretary.

Two officers, widely acclaimed as upright and competent have been
inducted into the chief minister’s office as principal secretaries.
These are Durga Shankar Misra and R P Singh. While  Misra will
continue to hold his existing charge of the state’s drug controller,
Singh has been brought  from the department of revenue where he was
principal secretary.

Anil Sant, yet another secretary in the CM’s office has been entrusted
with additional charge as secretary (finance), while controversial
bureaucrat K K Sinha who had remained  dumped as principal secretary
(general administration) was shifted to the key ministry of
agriculture.

 

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