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Yogi puts Akhilesh’s top babus on wait list

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday effected first major reshuffle of bureaucrats, transferring 20 senior IAS officers, and shunting out powerful faces of former Akhilesh Yadav-led SP government, putting them on wait list. The most significant transfer has been of that of Navneet Sehgal and Anita Singh. While Sehgal served as Principal Secretary (Information), Anita Singh was Principal Secretary to the previous chief minister.

Sehgal was the second-most powerful man in the state bureaucracy in Mayawati regime too. He was allegedly instrumental in keeping a lid on major controversies. Shifted by the Akhilesh Yadav government to relatively insignificant departments, Sehgal returned to prominence after the SP government got badly bruised by the media backlash after Saifai Mahotsav. He was then brought back as principal secretary in the Information Department to give Akhilesh image a makeover.

Adityanath divested Sehgal of all charges and hoisted in his place Avanish Kumar Awasthi, who was relieved by the Centre following a request by the state government. Sehgal’s clout in the previous government could be gauged by the fact that he was also in-charge of Religious Affairs, and Tourism, besides donning the hats of CEO of UP Industrial Development Authority, UP State Highway Authority and also portfolio of Additional Resident Commissioner of UP in New Delhi, dealing with the Central government.

An official release said that Sehgal has been put on the wait list and Awasthi has got charge of all the departments held by him. Awasthi was serving as Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment since April, 2013.

He has served in different capacities in the Uttar Pradesh government, including as District Magistrate of Gorakhpur and Varanasi, Lok Sabha constituencies of Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi respectively.

Another top bureaucrat Rama Raman, who served as Principal Secretary, Infrastructure and Industrial development, NRI Department and Chairman Noida Authority, has also been put on the wait list. Investment Commissioner Amit Mohan Prasad has been given additional charge of CEO Noida and Greater Noida Authority. Deepak Agarwal, who held the charge, has been put on the wait list. Additional Chief Secretary, Mining, Gurdeep Singh has also been put on the wait list and member Revenue Board Raj Pratap Singh has been given charge of Singh’s department besides additional charge as member of the Board. Principal Secretary, Child Development and Nutrition Dimple Verma has been put on the wait list while Anita Mehra, who was on the wait list, has been given Verma’s department as Secretary.

Commissioner, Commercial Tax and Secretary Technical Education Mukesh Kumar Meshram has been relieved of Technical education department while Divisional Commissioner, Lucknow, Secretary Bhuvanesh Kumar has been relieved from his post. Kumar will now be Secretary in Professional education and skill development department, and Technical Education department. MD, UP State Industrial Development Corporation, Minor Industries Corporation and Commissioner and Director Industries, Amit Kumar Ghosh, Vice Chairman Ghaziabad Development Authority, Secretary Culture Hariom, Principal Secretary, Estate Department Anita Singh too have been put on the wait list.

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