Lucknow: The appointment of 1982-batch IAS officer Deepak Singhal as the new chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh has emphasised the weaker position of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav whose opposition to former's elevation had been a common knowledge in the political and bureaucratic circles.
Akhilesh, more often said to be playing second fiddle to his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and two uncles Shivpal Singh Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav during his tenure, has this time had another uncle in Amar Singh whose return to the party proved a boon to Singhal.
Deepak Singhal, known to have enjoyed full confidence of senior party leader and Irrigation and PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav, has found one more potent supporter in Amar Singh. It was not very long ago that Singhal had figured in controversial tapes of Amar Singh.
It is for everyone to know in the close administrative circles that the UP CM had always his inclination towards Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Praveer Kumar to be made new chief secretary of the state after the term of Alok Ranjan had come to an end on June 30. The most the CM could do was to make Praveer the officiating CS before he left for abroad on June 28.
The regular appointment of the chief secretary witnessed some hectic lobbying and at the last moment, Deepak Singhal managed to turn the table on Praveer to get the top administrative post.
Akhilesh, though, had his way in the form of Alok Ranjan's appointment as his chief adviser, in charge of all his 24 dream projects being monitored by Project Monitoring Group (PMG). It was a conscious effort to utilise clean and efficient image of Alok Ranjan as compared to that of Deepak Singhal ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.