Lucknow, March 23 (IANS) Senior Indian Administrative Service officer Jawed Usmani Friday took over as chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh.
The unassuming, 1978-batch officer returned from a central deputation with the Planning Commission, at the persistence of Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
While initially Usmani refused to take up the post and was keen to join 'a position' in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the Yadav chieftain prevailed upon him and asked him to return to the parent state.
Having served at senior positions in the centre and also with the World Bank, officials in the state feel, Usmani could become instrumental in "defining economic policies for the state" and attracting investment.
His proximity to Mulayam Singh Yadav dates back to 1993 when he served as secretary to the chief minister till 1995 and then became his principal secretary again in 2004.
When Mulayam Singh lost power to arch rival and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, Jawed Usmani opted for central deputation and left the state. Soon after taking over, Usmani said Uttar Pradesh was a large state and the priority of the government -- development and law and order -- would form the benchmark of his functioning.
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