Living up to her reputation of a hard taskmaster, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati suspended two senior IAS officers and rattled the state bureaucracy by ordering the transfer of over 100 IAS and IPS officers within hours of her assuming the new office.
Satish Chandra Agarwal, former principal public works secretary, and B B Singh, vice chairman of the Lucknow Development Authority, were punished for failing to ensure proper upkeep and maintenance of the Ambedkar Park, created by Mayawati in 1997.
Both enjoyed close proximity to former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Mayawati was also embroiled in a major controversy on account of a whopping expenditure of Rs 150-crores on the park that has become her key landmark in the state capital.
With Mulayam Singh Yadav at the helm of affairs, the official focus got shifted to his dream project -- a park in the name of renowned socialist Ram Manohar Lohia -- in the neighbourhood of the Ambedkar Park.
Even though officials got down to refurbishing Ambedkar Park after Mayawati's return became imminent, it did not seem to impress Mayawati who visited the site shortly after assuming office Sunday afternoon. The punitive action followed thereafter.
Later, Mayawati ordered a large scale reshuffling of IAS and IPS officers.
As many as 64 officers belonging to the Indian Police Service including several district police chiefs and others holding key assignments were given marching orders from their existing posts. Besides, more than 35 officers belonging to the elite IAS were shifted in the shake-up.
Among the key changes was the elevation of Sheshank Shekhar Singh as the state's cabinet secretary. Singh had suffered much during the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime because he refused to become an approver in the Taj Corridor scam in which Mayawati was facing a CBI probe. He had held the all important charge of UP's industrial development commissioner during Mayawati's last stint.
The other important appointments were made in the chief minister's personal secretariat, where V K Sharma and Shailesh Krishna were appointed as principal secretaries. Besides, those named as secretaries were Rohit Nandan, Anoop Pandey, N.S.Ravi, Navneet Sehgal and Jagdish Rai.
Chief Secretary Shambhoo Nath and Director General of Police G L Sharma, both of whom were appointed by the election commission to ensure free and fair assembly elections, have however remained untouched so far.