Shashank Shekhar Singh was made cabinet secretary by Mayawati after becoming the chief minister in 2007. He was the first non-IAS officer to become a cabinet secretary.
All the parties have started preparations for the next year’s assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. BSP general secretary Satish Mishra has clearly said that the party will go it alone in the upcoming elections. He expressed hope that the Bahujan Samaj Party will have a one-sided victory in these elections. However, if we look at the performance of the party in the last 10 years, there has been nothing special. The party’s graph has steadily gone down in the 2012 assembly elections and the subsequent Lok Sabha elections.
Close officer was made cabinet secretary: In the year 2007, Mayawati, who became the Chief Minister by winning more than 200 seats, made Shashank Shekhar Singh, an officer considered close to her, as a cabinet secretary. Many questions were raised on the appointment of Shashank Shekhar Singh as he was a non-IAS officer to reach this post. His appointment was also challenged in the court.
Ajoy Bose has mentioned this in his book ‘Behenji: A Political Biography of Mayawati’. Ajoy writes, ‘After Mayawati became the Chief Minister, there was a sudden improvement in the law and order of Uttar Pradesh. During this time I spoke to the cabinet secretary sitting in his shining bright office, he had said, ‘If we stay like this for one year, we will win Delhi’.
Bose further writes, ‘It was his inclination towards Mayawati. This was the reason that he was completely sidelined during the rule of Mulayam Singh Yadav about three years ago. They had predicted Mayawati’s victory even before the 2007 elections.
Had already taken retirement: According to a report in HT, Shashank was given the rank of cabinet minister after his appointment was challenged in the Allahabad High Court. Shashank had become so powerful in Mayawati’s government that the biggest ministers used to line up to meet him. Shashank was the first and last such officer who became the cabinet secretary of the state despite not being an IAS.
In 2012, after the formation of the Samajwadi Party government in the state, he took retirement from his service and moved away from politics and bureaucracy to Delhi. Although Shashank Shekhar Singh had retired in the year 2010, but in Mayawati’s government, he was given an extension of two years. But he resigned before the completion of the term. In the year 2013, Shashank died due to illness at Max Hospital, Delhi.