In New Delhi: Sanjay Prasad, Yogi Adityanath’s principal secretary, is now the state’s most powerful executive following a late-Wednesday surprise reshuffle of 16 IAS officers in Uttar Pradesh.
The important home department, as well as information and public relations, visa and passport, and vigilance, have all been transferred by the Adityanath administration to Prasad.
Awanish K. Awasthi, an additional chief secretary and 1987-batch IAS officer who oversees important agencies like home, visa and passport, jail administration, vigilance, energy, and religious affairs, was once thought to be the most powerful officer in Uttar Pradesh. On Wednesday, he left.
Prasad, an IAS officer from the 1995 batch, is believed to be the chief minister’s second-most trusted employee behind Awasthi. Since 2019, when he returned to his cadre after serving for four years on a central deputation, he has been a member of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
IIT Kanpur alumnus Awanish K. Awasthi retired, and Yogiji wanted one of his trusted officers to take over the home department. Sanjay Prasad meets that description, according to a top BJP official.
“As everyone is aware, Yogiji fought for Awasthi’s extension up until the very last minute. However, the federal government did not extend his contract. Prasad has been the chief minister’s closest ally, aside from Awasthi, the leader continued.
Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionaries in Gorakhpur who are close to the chief minister also regard Prasad as one of the most “effective and non-controversial” policemen. He had worked as Gorakhpur’s chief development officer for a year between 1999 and 2001, when Adityanath was a member of parliament.
In UP, it was Ram Prakash Guptaji’s administration (1999–2000). Yogi Adityanath was the MP at the time, Maharajji. He has always been interested in the growth of Gorakhpur. When Prasad worked so well, Maharajji took notice of it. Since then, Prasad has worked for every political party in Uttar Pradesh, including the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party, in their respective regimes (BSP). However, he continued to be sincere and professional, according to a top RSS official from Gorakhpur.
A former junior secretary in the home, health, and education departments as well as the divisional commissioner of Ayodhya, Prasad is from the Sitamarhi district of Bihar.