|Bee Smart: Bureaucrats to Speak Up|
For example, Shashank Shekhar Singh, a former pilot held a unique post called cabinet secretary and enjoyed the rank of a cabinet minister. Singh has been Ms Mayawati’s favourite bureaucrat from day one of her coming back to power in 2007. According to a state order, cabinet secretary would enjoy the same power as chief secretary who is invariably an IAS officer. But in Lucknow corridors, you don’t need to muster rocket science to understand Singh’s clout vis-à-vis that of chief secretary. The issue of creating an all-powerful cabinet secretary’s post in the state undermining the established role of a chief secretary even cropped up to Supreme Court.
Mayawati also tried to change the political rule book of praising babus in public rallies, a highly unconventional practice. Two IAS officers, 1984 batch Durga Shanker Mishra and 1988 batch Navneet Sehgal, were showered praise at a public rally in Lucknow in mid-December last year. Mishra, a B Tech engineer and MBA before joining as IAS, was a joint secretary in home ministry during early days of UPA-I. Sehgal, both a chartered account and company secretary besides being an IAS, was praised for his attempts to make UP getting enough power by 2014.
But not all IAS officers were as lucky as Mishra and Sehgal. Senior IAS of 1976 batch Promilla Shanker, who was suspended and then reinstated, is a case in hand. She alleged Mayawati government of unleashing “a reign of terror and fear in the administration and officers who speak their mind” and wanted the Centre to “protect the morale” of all-India services officers.